Rover Races

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In this activity, learners experience some of the challenges of "tele-operating" a robotic vehicle on another planet when they design and execute a series of commands to guide a human "rover" through a simulated Martian surface. This lesson plan includes background information about rovers, activity variation ideas, extensions, and black-line masters.

Quick Guide

Preparation Time:
45 to 60 minutes

Learning Time:
45 to 60 minutes

Estimated Materials Cost:
$5 - $10 per group of students

Age Range:
Ages 8 - 18

Resource Types:
Activity, Lesson/Lesson Plan, Simulation


Materials List (per group of students)

  • Large playing area (classroom, gym, or outside area)
  • Three blindfolds per team
  • A clipboard and pencil for each driver and official
  • Obstacles - laminated construction paper works well (note: do not use any materials that the blindfolded learners will trip or fall over).
  • A stopwatch for the timer of each team
  • Driver's sheet
  • Job cards with team numbers


  • Earth and Space Science
    • Astronomy
      • Probes, Satellites and Spacecraft
    • Solar System
      • The Planets
  • Engineering and Technology
    • Computing
      • Information Technology
    • Engineering
      • Aerospace Engineering
    • Technology
      • Information and Communication
  • The Nature of Science
    • Science and Society
      • Risks and Benefits
    • The Scientific Process
      • Conducting Investigations
      • Gathering Data
  • The Nature of Technology
    • Technology and Society
      • Impacts of Technology
    • The Design Process
      • Invention and Innovation
      • Problem Solving

Informal Categories

  • Physical Activity
  • Transportation


To use this activity, learners need to:

  • see
  • be mobile

Learning styles supported:

  • Involves teamwork and communication skills
  • Involves hands-on or lab activities


Includes alignment to state and/or national standards:

This resource is part of:

Access Rights:

  • Free access


  • Klug, Sheri L.


  • Public domain, ,