Students stuck indoors during the coronavirus (Covid-19) outbreak can use their STEM skills to explore outer space. 

The Jet Propulsion Laboratory at the California Institute of Technology is giving kids the opportunity to build their own virtual Mars Rover through an online classroom activity on its website. Scratch, a program created by the Massachusetts Institute of Technology that allows kids ages 8 – 16 to create their own stories, animations, and games, allows students to use a drag-and-drop coding language to create their own Rover-mission game. In the process, they’ll learn the basics of math and coding, while building problem solving and computational thinking skills. Students can create their own accounts, or they can use an account set up by a teacher.  

Back on Earth, students can learn how to create their own apps using Thunkable, a blocks-based mobile app building platform created through a partnership between Google and MIT. Through blocks-based coding, students can create a text-to-speech app, a random answer generator, games, and more. They’ll learn a bunch of other fun stuff, too, like how to add animation to an app, or how to create apps that take photos.

Resources on TryEngineering

Try your hand at one of these engaging engineering games and learn while having fun! TryEngineering has games for grades K-12 cover topics ranging from inventing and coding to environmental and electrical engineering.

TryEngineering has also curated free resources available to support teachers and parents during this unprecedented and challenging time. Browse through different online activities to keep your kids learning.