Tinkering School Mars Mission

Thursday, February 17–Sunday, May 1, 2022

Bechtel Gallery 3

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As COVID-19 forced remote learning, Tinkering School (TS), a San Francisco–based educational program dedicated to youth-centered making and tinkering, looked for creative ways to continue their collaborative approach to learning. The team created Tinkering School Mars Mission as an Earth-bound program that maintains the accuracy and challenges of real Mars rover operations. It represents a pioneering effort in defining a new, collaborative distance-learning experience.

Inspired by (but not associated with) the ingenious engineering and problem-solving of NASA’s Mars missions, the TS team collaborated to build an educational, hands-on experience operating rovers in a simulated Martian lava tube. The team consists of young people aged 14–20, and uses a form of emergent collectivist decision-making.

The TS team has developed an experience that lets you test the newest generation of their rovers and showcases a selection of their rover and wheel prototypes from previous generations. The TS Mars Mission team will be on site to share more about their work on many Thursday nights and weekends.


Selfie image of Perseverance taken by Perseverance! Courtesy of NASA/JPL-Caltech.