In the summer of 2020 a “Minnesota-Modified” Rover Observation and Drone Survey on Mars (MN-ROADS) student challenge was held with multiple middle school groups from the Minneapolis Public School District. Over the course of six weeks student teams worked with teachers and MnSGC higher education teaching assistants to learn how to code mBot robots then used them to complete a number of Mars-themed tasks. The instruction method was completely online and each student was sent an mBot robot and a map of Mars where the Mars 2020 rover, Perseverance, will land in Feb. 2021. Other materials used were all familiar items that students already had in their households. After completing their tasks, students worked with their groups to create a final presentation reporting on their accomplishments over the six-week period. On July 23, 2020, the final presentations were held over Zoom with the students presenting to their teachers, families, and MnSGC staff and TAs.
A map of the ROADS challenge.