• American Girl Doll Crafter

DlY Doll Mars Rover - Doll STEM Camp 2018

In today’s Camp activity, we’ll be crafting a Mars rover for your doll! But before the building begins, we need to know a little bit about a rover and how it works.

Rovers can be compared to cars, however they are much more durable for the harsh climate on Mars. In fact, most rovers are tested in the Atacama Desert, which has a similar climate to Mars. The sandy soil and extremely hot temperatures prevent any form of life in the bare desert, making it the perfect testing grounds for a rover. NASA plans to launch the next Mars Rover in 2020, and it features the basic structure, along with a few upgrades.

Mars 2020 Rover

  • Body: a structure that protects the rover's "vital organs"

  • Brains: computers to process information

  • Temperature controls: internal heaters, a layer of insulation, and more

  • "Neck and head": a mast for the cameras to give the rover a human-scale view

  • Eyes and ears: cameras and instruments that give the rover information about its environment

  • Arm and "hand": a way to extend its reach and collect rock samples for study

  • Wheels and legs: parts for mobility

  • Electrical power: batteries and power

  • Communications: antennas for "speaking" and "listening"

*Taken from the NASA Mars 2020 Rover Site:

A rover collects soil and rock samples, records data, and search for signs of past water activity on Mars, but it serves other purposes, too. A rover may transfer an astronaut to a mission site, or perform missions on its own. Luciana and her team even built a rover for a competition! Our dolls can compete in an upcoming robotics competition, but I’m getting ahead of myself. For now, let’s build them their own rover!

When making this craft, the possibilities are endless! Legos allow so many different ways to create. Build your own rover using pieces you have on hand, or take a look at our rover for inspiration. Creativity is the key- there are so many ways to do this craft!

Materials for Lego Rover:

Swipe or click through the gallery for full instructions.

Of course, your doll will also need something to command her rover with!

Materials for Lego Remote Control:

Swipe or click through the gallery for full instructions.

If you enjoy building with legos or love a challenge, you can also make a more complex rover! My brother made this one and modeled it after the American Girl Mega Bloks Rover. Once again, the possibilities are endless with Legos!

Now our doll's rover is ready to roll!

Camp Conversations - Episode 4

Luciana walks toward her Maker Station, arms full holding a bin of robot parts.

“Look what I found, Johanna!” Luciana exclaims, dropping the bin with a loud clunk. Meg looks over curiously from her Maker Station, while Ella glances up in suspicion.

Johanna gasps as she sorts through different pieces. “Wow! Das sind perfekt, Luci! These are perfect!”

“There’s more where this came from. Check the parts closet again to see if I missed anything.”

Johanna dashes off to the closet. Ella wrinkles her nose, then quickly follows.

Frustration nipped inside Luciana. Why was Ella always watching their every move? She had been sneaking looks at Luciana and Johanna’s rover for the past hour, and everyone knew that copying another team’s rover was cheating.

“No.” Luciana shook her head. “Ella wouldn’t do that.”

Shaking Ella from her thoughts, Luciana turned back to building her rover. If she could just tighten this bolt and then…


Luciana jerked up to see Meg smiling down at her. “Can I borrow your wrench? Ella forgot to give it to me when she left for the parts closet.”

Luciana grinned and passed her wrench to Meg.

“Thank you!” answered Meg. She lingered around Luci’s Maker Station, hopping from one foot to the other in thought. Finally, she looked up and said, “Ella really wants to win. It’s the only thing she cares about. She hates losing.”

Luciana listened quietly as Meg chattered on.

“In fact, that’s actually why she doesn’t have friends anymore.”

Just then, Ella and Johanna returned from the parts closet. Ella frowned at Meg as she rushed across the room.

“Gotta go. Thanks for the wrench, Luci!” Meg called over her shoulder.

Puzzled, Luciana returned to her work. Everything Meg had said, and the advice Johanna had given her yesterday… it all made sense now.

Could prickly, confident Ella be wanting a friend?

Astro Alternatives

When crafting, improvise and create using what works best for YOU! At the end of each camp craft, we'll be sharing ideas for alternative materials.

  • Build a rover using materials around the house instead of Legos!

  • Use a square of foam board for the base

  • Substitute bottle caps for wheels

  • Make the head/eyes of the rover with a tooth pick and beads

  • Craft the rover's satellite with bubble wrap

Camp posts will be shared on Monday, Wednesday, and Friday of each week.

If you complete a craft or want to share a photo of your doll at camp, snap a picture and send it in or share on Instagram using the hashtag #DollSTEMCamp2018 to be featured in the Camp Recap each Sunday!Email:

#stem #stemdoll #stemcampforkids #STEMCamp #DollSTEMCamp2018 #girlsinstem #dollstemcamp #DollSTEMCamp #americangirlSTEMdoll #STEM #dollcrafts #DollDayscrafts #crafts #agcrafts

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