Age range: 11-14
Duration: 60 or more mins
  • Biology
  • D&T
  • Engineering
  • Maths
  • Physics

Mission to Mars

DIY Faraday Challenge Day - Students will design and construct a rocket which will transport supplies via Earth orbit to the astronauts on Mars.

A set of printable resources and guidance notes giving teachers and technicians the basic ingredients to run their very own Faraday Challenge Day. This cross-curricular activity day brings science, design and technology, engineering and maths (STEM) together in an engaging way.

The context of the challenge

Humans have been exploring the Earth for many years, travelling abroad for holidays, organising explorations to the top of mountains, to the poles of the Earth and to the bottom of oceans.

What happens when this spirit of expedition is turned to the skies?

Activity info and teachers' notes

The Mission to Mars challenge is based on the Faraday Challenge of the same name from our 2013/14 season of Faraday Challenge Days.

Students are the engineer specialists recruited by 'Make it 2 Mars' to establish a human settlement on the planet Mars by 2023. Students will design and construct a rocket which will transport supplies via Earth orbit to the astronauts on Mars, as well as building a system to transport their rocket to the launch site for testing. 

Designed for six teams of six students (36 students in total) aged 12 – 13 years (year 8, and equivalent), the challenge encourages the development of students’ problem solving, team working and communication skills. This activity day can be tailored to the needs of your school and your students by adapting the PowerPoint presentation and the editable student booklet.

What's included?

The complete set of downloadable materials includes:

  • Teachers pack
    A list of the practical materials needed, presenters’ notes highlighting key areas and reinforcing key themes throughout the day, some handy hints on how to deliver the day . . . plus printable Faradays currency and student certificates.
  • Student booklet
    Available as an editable MSWord document to allow the booklet to be adapted to meets the needs of your students and your school.
  • Introductory PowerPoint presentation
    A step-by-step guide for your students throughout the day, with supporting notes for the delivery of the presentation, including links to the related film clips.  
  • Film clips and sound effects
    Informative clips and sound effects to build the atmosphere around your challenge day.  

Remember, it’s all free! ...and registration is free too!

All online resources (including film clips!) are free to download, and the student booklet and PowerPoint presentation are fully editable, so you can tailor them to your students' and your schools' needs.

You can stream and download the related films for free by clicking on the appropriate link in the Related resources section below.

If you are running one of our DIY Faraday Challenge Days please do share your experience with us via our feedback form and case study template hereIf you are unfamiliar with how to run a DIY Faraday Challenge Day have a look at our 6 start-up videos here where we take you through the days, how they should run and what they entail.


Available downloads

To download any of the resources on this page please login or register


Teachers' pack - A guide for teachers on how to run the Mission to Mars Faraday Challenge Day.



Student booklet - The full booklet to print and hand out to each team.



Introductory PowerPoint presentation


Presentation and notes

Introductory presentation slides and notes in a handy printable format.



Images of sample prototypes.



Teachers' extras - Certificates, currency, name badges, price tags and more - all in this handy PDF for teachers.



Planning sheet - A useful handout for students to plan their rocket and transport system prototypes and then reflect back on the decisions made.



Student roles - A helpful insight into the tasks and skills required to carry out each student job role.



Drum roll sound effect to be used as part of the DIY Faraday Challenge Day resource.