Vernier Software and Technology
Vernier Software & Technology

Surviving the Desert of Mars

Figure from experiment 3 from Coding with Codey Rocky: Mission to Mars


One of the biggest challenges to living on Mars is water—there just isn’t a lot of it! The majority of the planet is covered in desert. While there is evidence that liquid water once flowed on the surface of Mars, most of the known water on the planet is frozen at the north and south poles.

Since most human settlements will be started closer to the equator where it is warmer, far separated from water, one idea is to build a fleet of water-retrieving robots. Human settlers could mount an expedition to the pole, marking a safe route there and back. Then, they could program robots to make the trip by themselves, crawling across the Martian surface, collecting ice chunks from the pole, and returning to the settlement.


  • Practice writing movement code to move Codey Rocky precisely across a map.
  • Practice troubleshooting when problems arise.
  • Use a loop to repeat Codey Rocky’s ice-gathering actions.

Sensors and Equipment

This experiment features the following Vernier sensors and equipment.

Additional Requirements

You may also need an interface and software for data collection. What do I need for data collection?

Computer Science Teachers Association (CSTA) Standards

Compare and refine multiple algorithms for the same task and determine which is the most appropriate.
Create programs that include sequences, events, loops, and conditionals.
Test and debug (identify and fix errors) a program or algorithm to ensure it runs as intended.

Coding with Codey Rocky: Mission to Mars

See other experiments from the lab book.

1Houston, This is Codey
2Dance of the Martians
3Surviving the Desert of Mars
4Wild, Wild Mars
5Daily Life on Mars
6Surveying Mars

Experiment 3 from Coding with Codey Rocky: Mission to Mars Lab Book

<i>Coding with Codey Rocky: Mission to Mars</i> book cover

Included in the Lab Book

Vernier lab books include word-processing files of the student instructions, essential teacher information, suggested answers, sample data and graphs, and more.

Buy the Book

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