Vernier Software and Technology
Vernier Software & Technology

Surveying Mars

Figure from experiment 6 from Coding with Codey Rocky: Mission to Mars


As technology advances on Earth, our planet seems to grow smaller and smaller. It is no surprise that the idea of traveling to, exploring, and settling Mars captures the imagination. But establishing a settlement on Mars will require much more than imagination—it will take a lot of hard work and a lot of money!

One idea for paying for a Mars settlement is through science and innovation. The extreme conditions of Mars mean that Mars settlers will be forced to think creatively and will likely create all sorts of new technology. Likewise, the planet Mars itself is like one huge science experiment; there is so much to learn on Mars. Every university and government will want a team of scientists living and working on Mars.

One of the very first tasks scientists will undertake is surveying the entire planet. When surveying Mars, settlers will make detailed maps, discovering unique features such as lava tubes and identifying the location of resources like ice and minerals. In this activity, you will program Codey Rocky to survey the area around your Mars settlement, searching for resources including ice, minerals, and usable metals.


  • Write code to move Codey Rocky back and forth across a map.
  • Write code to utilize Rocky’s color sensor to recognize "resources" on the map (colored cards).
  • Create variables to store the resource counts.
  • Practice troubleshooting when problems arise.

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

Create programs that use variables to store and modify data.
Create programs that include sequences, events, loops, and conditionals.
Decompose (break down) problems into smaller, manageable subproblems to facilitate the program development process.
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 6 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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