Mars Perseverance Activity: Areology

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In this activity, learners take core samples of candy bars with a straw and carefully observe & excavate their sample, modeled after what the NASA Perseverance rover will do on Mars. Learners will compare their "tasty" unknown core samples to the known samples of candy bars provided in the guide. This activity includes step-by-step instructions, a video demonstration with background information, and content ties to NASA's Perseverance rover mission.

Quick Guide

Preparation Time:
Under 5 minutes

Learning Time:
30 to 45 minutes

Estimated Materials Cost:
$1 - $5 per student

Age Range:
Ages 6 - 14

Resource Type:


Materials List (per student)

  • “Fun or bite size” candy bar (Snickers, Milky Way, Mounds, Reeses Peanut Butter Cup, etc)
  • Two 3” long section of clear plastic soda straw
  • Paper plate
  • Plastic knife
  • Graph paper or small ruler
  • Wet wipes (optional for hand clean-up prior to activity since edible material is involved.)
  • Sample core photos and answer key


  • Earth and Space Science
    • Astronomy
      • Probes, Satellites and Spacecraft
    • Earth Structure
      • Rocks and Minerals
    • Solar System
      • The Planets


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Access Rights:

  • Free access



  • , Saint Louis Science Center, 2021

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