March 1, 2022
NASA has been landing rovers on the surface of Mars since the late 1990s, including the Curiosity rover in 2012 and the Perseverance rover in 2021. The Rover Coder simulates driving a rover on Mars while serving as an introduction to basic coding. Players are challenged to achieve a different goal at each level—for example, navigate to a specific rock. Subsequent levels become more challenging with the introduction of additional coding elements.
To try their skill at commanding a rover, students can download the free Android or iOS app, or they can scan the QR code on the Rover Coder webpage. The app also includes a “free play” mode in which the player can just draw patterns in the Martian dust.