Parents, Educators & Engineers

Mission: Solar System

Down to the Core

Design and build a device that can take a core sample from a potato "asteroid."

Analyzing samples from a planet, moon, or asteroid helps scientists learn about its chemistry, geologic history, and potential to support past or present life. In fact, nearly every NASA surface mission collects samples. In this video, kids design and build coring devices that can poke into a potato "asteroid" and extract a core sample. The video shows kids using the engineering design process, applying a variety of science concepts (e.g., Newton's Second Law and potential and kinetic energy), and learning about NASA's exploration of the solar system.

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Down to the Core

Want to do this challenge with kids? Download the leader notes and handout.
Download (PDF)

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(Scroll to full version: "Mars Science Laboratory Curiosity Rover Animation - June 24, 2011.")


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