Mars Perseverance Activity: Mud Splat Craters

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In this activity, learners explore the physics of impact craters from their own backyard using mud. Learners are encouraged to match features of real impact craters to their models. This activity includes step-by-step instructions, a video demonstration with background information, and content ties to NASA's Perseverance Mars rover. Note this activity can get messy and should be done outside or in an area where the floor can be covered with plastic sheeting.

Quick Guide

Preparation Time:
5 to 10 minutes

Learning Time:
10 to 30 minutes

Estimated Materials Cost:
free per student

Age Range:
Ages 6 - 14

Resource Types:
Activity, Simulation


Materials List (per student)

  • Large tub or pan. Plastic dishpans or a double layer foil-roasting pan will work best.
  • Fairly clean dirt
  • Large spoons to mix the mud
  • Broom and dustpan
  • Aprons or oversized old front button shirts (to protect clothes)
  • Water pitcher
  • Sturdy plastic spoons for students
  • Handout
  • Baby wipes or paper towels to clean mud off skin
  • Observations/Conclusions sheet


  • Earth and Space Science
    • Solar System
      • The Planets
      • Asteroids and Comets

Informal Categories

  • Outdoor Activity


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This resource is part of:

Access Rights:

  • Free access



  • All rights reserved, Saint Louis Science Center, 2021

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