These family activities are about exploring other worlds and discovering more about this one! Programs highlight our latest exploration on Mars and contemplate other worlds in the universe. Learners will gain an understanding of the support needed for living on an inhospitable planet and consider what type of world they want to live in through discussions, dance, and more!

Presented in collaboration with the Smithsonian’s National Museum of Natural History.

This program is part of the Soar Together @ Air and Space series.

Designing a Deep Dive into Mars

How can we explore extreme environments like Mars? Using Earth's deep seas as an example, let's explore how different organisms have evolved to live and thrive in extreme conditions - such as environments that introduce high pressure, low light, low oxygen, or exposure to intense heat and harsh chemicals. In this activity, we’ll challenge YOU to design a human-piloted craft or spacesuit to overcome the harsh environment of Mars and safely explore its surface.

To begin, explore the Smithsonian resource on designing a deep dive and video on getting started. Then, check out the video below where team members from the Explainers at the National Air and Space Museum and Q?Crew members from the National Museum of Natural History share their thoughts and designs to inspire your creations! Be sure to share your design by emailing it to the NASM team! Check out the Teacher Instructional Guide and the Design Together Caregiver Guide for more information. 

How Did You Do? 

Our team members share their thoughts and designs.

Postcards to Space

Do you want to send a message - to space? In this activity, the National Air and Space Museum, in collaboration with Blue Origin, has created an opportunity for virtual visitors to fill out a postcard that will be sent to space and returned to Earth! Participants will have an opportunity to share their visions about potential futures on our planet and the kind of world you would like your future family to live on. Here's how to get involved in this out-of-this-world activity!

  • Print the postcard (or you can use any 4" x 6" card) and share your visions about potential futures on our planet and the kind of world you would like your future family to live on.
  • Follow the mailing instructions for getting your postcard safely to space.
  • The last part is easy - just wait! Your postcard will come back to Earth...and to you!

The Astronomy Guide for YOU

With a whole universe of places to explore, where do you begin? Wonder about astronomy together using this Smithsonian guide for explorers of all ages. Included are questions to ask, resources to explore, tips, and more! Dive into the sky and learn how astronomy is for everyone! 

Looking to learn more about life on Mars? Tune in to our Live Chat: What Mars Reveals about Life in Our Universe. Virtual visitors will join experts from the National Air and Space Museum and National Museum of Natural History to hear about what we know about life on Earth and in the universe.

Mo the Mars Man Flights of Fancy Story Time

Gather your little ones for story time with the National Air and Space Museum's Flights of Fancy! In this special story time, let your youngest explorers tune into Flights of Fancy for a kid’s perspective of Mars and make a mini-sandbox to explore!

What you'll need for the activity: plastic food containers (recycled!), sand or corn meal, corn starch, and water.

Looking for More? 

Find more free resources on the Red Planet by visiting NASA's Mars Exploration Program. You'll find an abundance of in-depth information, interactive learning materials, and the latest rover activity once Perseverance lands on Thursday, February 18.


Soar Together @ Air and Space is made possible by the generous support of Northrop Grumman.