THE MARS LAB is a both a Mars Yard (a re-creation of the Martian surface) and a robotics lab established within Sydney’s Powerhouse Museum. Mars Lab education programs engage young people at high school in the search for life on Mars and the technologies which enable that search.


Join our community of educators to participate fully and stay up to date with this exciting program.



60 Minutes On Mars is a five lesson teacher-led unit of curriculum-linked science activities that provide an introduction to the search for evidence of life on Mars culminating with a teleoperation rover driving experience. Students investigate the main geological and astrobiological features of interest on the Martian surface and use this knowledge to carefully plan their rover mission.

Students control the rover from their classroomTeachers can follow the lessons step by step or choose to extend and vary the focus for their students as they develop a scientific goal for their Mars photographic mission.

Suitable for Years 7-10

View the 60MOM lesson materials


Robotics research

The Mars Lab is both an active educational resource and a space robotics, astrobiology and education research facility.

MAMMOTH Rover— Will Reid

Robotic rovers are currently used to great effect for the in-situ exploration of the Martian surface. To meet more challenging planetary exploration goals, rovers will need increased mobility over scientifically interesting rough terrain and the ability to achieve a wider variety of mission goals. The MAMMOTH (Mars Analogue Multi-Mode Traverse Hybrid) Rover is a reconfigurable platform developed by engineers at the Australian Centre for Field Robotics that is being used for research into greater rover mobility over harsh terrain …

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Conspiracy? A face discovered on the Mars Yard!

A young conspiracy theorist explores the facts behind the possible cover-up of the Face on the Mars Lab. As you will see, it is what they don’t tell you that makes it intriguing.


What happens in Mars Lab education programs?

A short video made by PLC Melbourne Junior School of their student experience with the Mars Lab education program: Mars Mission 5.


Mars Mission 5 is a 2 part virtual excursion led by our Mars Lab team over video conferencing. MM5 introduces students to the robotic exploration of Mars and focusses on collaboration, planning, observation and scientific investigation. This education program involves students in a variety of experiences over VC and in their classrooms including discussions, mission planning, virtual rover driving and teleoperating our robot rover in the Mars Yard.

Suitable for Years 5-8.

View teacher resources




Meet ANDY WEIR : author of The Martian

10:00 – 11:00 am (EST)
Wednesday 3 June 2015

Recommended for Years 9-12. English, Science, general interest.

Mars Lab is very pleased to present a live video conference with Andy Weir, writer of the exciting science fiction thriller, The Martian. The book tells the incredible tale of an astronaut left stranded on Mars and his efforts for survival against seemingly insurmountable odds. It’s a New York Times bestseller and soon to be a major Ridley Scott film starring Matt Damon!

The adventure is an excellent mix of strong characters, suspense, amazingly researched facts and fiction. There’s plenty of accurate detail about Mars, remarkable problem solving, great humour and a wonderful dose of humanity.


Don’t let your students miss this unique Q&A opportunity with an author who is clearly a star on the rise. Both the discussion and the book are sure to provide tremendous stimulus material and insights for English curriculum areas such as creative writing, character development, style, science fiction genre and the ‘Discovery’ area of study. It will also interest students of science, space and lovers of great fiction.


Teachers can submit their students’ prepared questions for Andy up until Friday 30 May. We will let you know which of these have been selected so your students can be ready to ask them during the conference. We will also try to take a selection of unprepared questions as part of the conversation.

Suggested reading: The Martian, Andy Weir [Crown Publishers] [note: book includes some coarse language].

See also:

wiki entry, Andy’s site