This is a STEM challenge that follows the Design and Application format for the Washington State End of Course Assessment. This is great for any STEM classroom as well. The students will be given the criteria and the problem they will solve is: "You need to land a Mars ship safely and upright on its legs without damaging the scientific equipment or injuring the humans inside. You will also need to hit the landing target."
They will follow the engineering design process:
Research the Problem
They will be given materials in class and COST SHEET that they will have to add up the amount of money they have to spend for each material. The goal is to build a lander that will safely land following the challenge criteria, and keep the cost low.
Using the video "Seven Minutes of Terror" as an Introduction to this project will give students ideas.
You can edit the materials to what you have available.