Mission to Mars
Grades 2-3

STEM Focus: Space Exploration

SEL Focus: The Human Brain, Emotions, and Choices

STEM Objectives

At the end of this module, students will be able to:

Incorporate space exploration concepts into their creations, including:

    1. Balancing the forces of thrust and gravity to create an orbit
    2. Building hermetically-sealed shelters and tools to explore and survive extreme weather conditions
    3. Harnessing air resistance or drag to ensure a safe landing

SEL Objectives

At the end of this module, students will be able to:

Use their knowledge of the human brain to make sound choices including: 

    1. Being aware of the physiology and functions of the amygdala and pre-frontal cortex
    2. Applying the knowledge of how these brain parts interact to manage their emotions and reactions when faced with a challenge
    3. Identifying their own Amygdala Calming Actions (ACA) and Amygdala Calming Thoughts (ACT)
Girl Building Cup Tower (Landscape)

6 Builders

20-30 pieces of Each Per Student for All 10 Lessons

  • Colored Construction Paper
  • Jumbo Craft Sticks
  • 3 oz. Dixie Cups
  • Bendy Straws
  • Cereal Boxes and/or Paper Towel Rolls (Collect from Parents
  • Heavy Duty Foil (Arms-Length Pieces)

2 Tools

1 per 2-3 Students for All 10 Lessons

  • Safety Scissors
  • .94 inch Masking Tape

3 Special Materials

1 Per Student

  • Wiffle Balls

20-30 Per Student

  • Paper Napkins

1 Roll Per 10 Students

  • Cotton Twine

Note: Lesson 4 will need these additional materials for testing stations: 4-5 bins (approximately 10-15 quarts each) and some beads or beans for each bin. If running the class online, every student will need their own bin and beads.

Important: You do not need to give each child their own set of materials. Make materials available and allow students to choose their builders. The video will share any constraints about the max amount of any one material they can use.

If running the class online, parents do not need to provide all materials up front. They can add as they go. 3-5 pieces of every material per student for each challenge is sufficient. To help students stay organized and ensure they have enough materials, ask them for a picture of their materials area.

Quick and Easy!

Set up takes less than 5 minutes. All you need to do is:


    1. Lay Out Our Standard Set of Materials:
      • Children use the same materials across all 10 lessons. So you never need to assemble special material kits!
      • Simply lay out our standard set of materials before each lesson and replenish items as needed.

    2. Set Up Testing Stations (If Needed):
      • A few lessons require additional set up, such as creating a square with blue tape to use as a target area.
      • We include all of those special instructions in the Set Up and Tips for each module.


Print this document and keep it handy to take a quick look before every lesson.

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