FAQ

We’ve tried to answer the most common questions we receive about the Mars Diary. If your question isn’t answered in this FAQ section, please feel free to email us at the address listed at the bottom of this page. We’re here to help!

How do I access Mars Diary activities?

You can download all of our activities and teaching resources on the Resources page of this website.

You can search activities in two ways:

  • Chapter-by-Chapter: Explore the Mars Diary chapters either online or in your official book
  • Pick-and-Mix: Use our specially designed filter to search through activities. You can search by subject area, learning methodology or both!

You’ll find all accompanying teaching notes, curriculum guides and teacher resources on individual activity pages.

Why do I have to register?

We ask you to register for three specific reasons, and we do not share your information with any third parties:

  1. Funding Reports: The Mars Diary is funded by the UK Space Agency and we are required to report on how many teachers use these resources, how many students participate and various other bits of data that help us all to see how effective the programme has been. This information is anonymised by us and included in our funding reports to the UK Space Agency. Your personal details are never shared.
  2. Keep in Contact: We add new content to the website on an ongoing basis and love to share news about what schools and students are doing with their Mars Diaries. We send a monthly newsletter with this information and to keep you informed of any opportunities that come up through us or our funding partners. Again, we never share this data with anyone.
  3. Delivery of Books: We need you to register your details so we can deliver free books to those schools who are successful.

I’m not in the UK. Can I still sign up and order books?

Schools, community groups, learning centres and home educators in the UK are invited to sign up to the Mars Diary web portal. We are currently working on finding partners who can help us make the programme available to educators and young Space Explorers outside the UK. Check back here for updates or follow @curvedhousekids on Twitter for Mars Diary news.

Who’s behind the Mars Diary?

The Mars Diary has been written and developed by author Lucy Hawking and publisher Curved House Kids, with the support of the UK Space Agency. Its mission is to engage students in science by learning about real-life STEM projects that are exploring ways to get humans to Mars, in particular the UK’s human and robotics exploration programmes.

Curved House Kids is grateful to the UK Space Agency, whose funding not only made the Mars Diary and its teaching resources possible, but also provided 20,000 free copies of the Mars Diary to students in the UK’s most deprived areas.

Thank you also to our wonderful team of STEM experts and teachers who have given us their time, expertise and knowledge, to make this programme as inspiring and informative as possible.

My colleague received free books but I didn't. Why not?

We were thrilled that so many schools in deprived areas of the UK entered the draw for free books. While we wish we could have sent free copies to every class that registered, we only had a limited number available, and so we made the decision before launching the programme that we would only provide one class set of 30 books to each registered school in a deprived area. Because of this, in the case where multiple teachers from a school registered, we allocated that school’s free books to the teacher who had registered first.

If you entered the draw but didn’t receive free books, you will still receive a free Welcome Pack, which will help you run the ‘print-your-own’ version of the programme.

For more information about our programme and how free books were allocated, please read see ‘The Mars Diary Programme’ section of our Terms and Conditions.

Where are the answers to activities?

You can find answers and solutions in a few different places:

  • In Zap codes, for activities which have a specific solution e.g. Word Searches or Rover’s Discovery
  • As a downloadable PDF, for schools not using Zap codes e.g. Team Work
  • In the teaching notes for all activities, even those where the answers are provided in another format.

What's a Zap code?

Zap codes are the little lightning bolt images that you’ll find on a lot of the Mars Diary activities. They provide additional digital content when ‘zapped’ with a smart phone or device that has the Zappar app.

You can find our instructions for downloading the Zappar app and using Zap codes here.

We're not using Zap codes. Can we still access Zap code content?

Yes! All content that’s included in Zap codes is also provided as a downloadable file in the ‘Extras’ section of each activity. We’ve prepared this information as a image bundles, PowerPoint Presentations or downloadable sound or video files, depending on the content.

We have more than 30 students. Can you send us more free books?

Unfortunately not. We appreciate that some classes will have more than 30 students but we are not able to provide additional free copies to any school. Single copies are available in our Bookshop, or you can download and print all of our resources for free.

How can I get free copies of the Mars Diary?

All 20,000 free copies of the Mars Diary have now been delivered to UK primary schools. If your school missed out, you can still register for the programme and either purchase copies of the Mars Diary from the Bookshop, or download all our resources for free.

I have another question...

No problem! Contact Mars Diary HQ at info@curvedhousekids.com.