The Next Stop For Year 5… Mars

Mr Stanlake

Over recent weeks the children in Classes 10 & 11 have been scientifically investigating the Milky Way (and not the chocolate one!) more specifically our solar system.

This has included work on Planet Earth and the forces we have acting on it, The Sun and The Moon and its various phases. The children have been required to test not only their scientific thinking but also their mathematics as they have calculated the differences in gravity here on Earth and on our only permanent natural satellite.

“My favourite part of the science we have been doing in class is hard to choose but it is probably making up rhymes about the planets in our solar system.” Ines, Class 10

The next stop for our budding young space explorers was Mars, our closest planetary neighbour in the Solar System. On Friday Year 5 mixed themselves into groups including children from both Class 10 and 11 and undertook a Mars themed science challenge day.

The first task for the children to complete was a test of their recently learned orienteering skills as they had to find 18 words hidden around the school. Using a map, listening to and working with each other they had 15 minutes to collect as many of the mars themed words as possible.

Throughout the course of the day each team had a checklist containing our learning to learn skills: listening, reflecting, communicating, persevering and working with others which they were required to display in order to complete their mission.

These were tested before break time as the teams needed to use their recently discovered theme words in order to complete a piece of non-fiction writing about the red planet.

After collecting information about Mars the children were then ready to prepare for their mission.

img_8811The MAVERM:

The Mars Atmospheric and Volatile Exploration Reconnaissance Mission.

Once the children had read and accepted the terms of their contracts they were required to, as a team, design, plan and build a Mars lander suitable for landing an egg in the playground.


“Science in Year 5 has been amazing so far! My favourite part of the challenge day was when we tested our landers in the playground!” William, Class 10

Ben signing his mission agreement


Considering only 20 of the 43 Mars missions have ever returned information back to Earth the teams of children did very well, landing 8 out of the 9 character eggs successfully. After nervously waiting to find the fate of their egg, we discovered Barbie Egg, Rockstar Egg, Santa Egg and Rudolf Egg had all survived. Ironically Astronaut Egg was the only fatality.


However being a space race, their had to be a winning team and that team consisted of Leo, Taran, Alex, Sammy and Finn as their egg didn’t break, their lander weighed the least at 75g and they completed their checklist by demonstrating all of our Learning2Learn skills.

Well done team, next stop… Mars!