Home STEM/STEAM Mars Mayhem: A Disaster Card LEGO Challenge

Mars Mayhem: A Disaster Card LEGO Challenge

by Peggy Reimers
Mars Mayhem is a LEGO challenge for students with 16 FREE disaster cards.

One day, while cruising the Internet, I stumbled upon The LEGO Librarian, Peter Blenski, and his LEGO club disaster cards. The LEGO Club disaster cards have roots in the Oregon Trail game. But Peter mentions, “Only this time, there’s no dysentery.” Then, the Baader-Meinhof phenomenon set in for me. I started to notice teachers talking about disaster card challenges on social media. Let’s explore Peter’s Disaster Island Challenge and uncover a brand new challenge for your students to enjoy.

Just in case you were wondering . . .

The Baader-Meinhof phenomenon is a cognitive bias where you recently learn about something (a word, concept, object) and then suddenly start noticing it everywhere. It’s like your brain becomes hyper aware of that thing, making it seem more frequent than it actually is.

What is Disaster Island?

Disaster Island kicks off with each group having access to a pile of LEGO bricks and 20 minutes to build their own deserted island masterpiece. The sky’s the limit— think lush jungles, towering volcanoes, or hidden lagoons. Once the clock runs out, things take a turn! Each group will draw a disaster card that introduces a surprise challenge to their island paradise. They will need to find a solution for whatever disaster card has been pulled. The idea is not to destroy their build but to add a solution. Here is Peter’s explanation of the challenge:

If you are interested in the original Disaster Island Challenge, check out the following links:

Introducing Mars Mayhem: A New LEGO Challenge

In my social media circles, I have seen teachers asking for more LEGO challenges similar to Disaster Island. So, of course, I have created a spin-off with an outer space twist. Below, you will find a new LEGO challenge: Mars Mayhem! Students can complete this challenge individually or in groups.

How to Play

  1. Give each group of students 20 minutes to build their base camp on Mars. 
  2. When the 20 minutes are up, have each group pull a Mars Mayhem card.
  3. Give an allotted time for students to solve the problem introduced by the card. 
  4. Ask students to release their inner hero and use LEGO bricks or other materials to build a solution to the disaster. Remind them not to dismantle their original build!
  5. Hold a gallery walk for each group to explain their disaster and solution.

Teacher Tip: Provide a carpet square or a LEGO baseplate to contain the building. 

Win Laminated Mars Mayhem Cards!

Submit your information on this Google Form before 5 p.m. Central on May 17, 2024 to win a free laminated set of the Mars Mayhem cards. Two winners will be pulled from the entries, and your laminated cards will be delivered by mail! Good luck, and happy building on the Red Planet. 

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Susan McGee May 16, 2024 - 7:58 am

I know there must be a way, but I am not seeing how to print the mayhem cards in canva
I tried several things yesterday, but still not seeing it, what am I missing?

Peggy A Reimers May 16, 2024 - 8:35 am

Hello Susan,
Open the template, Go to share and download as a pdf. If you are still having trouble with printing, email me @ preimers@tcea.org and I can send you the pdf directly.

Peggy A Reimers May 20, 2024 - 2:22 pm

Congratulations to Kelly of Columbus, Ohio and Gina of Felton, Delaware as their names were drawn for the Mars Mayhem cards. TCEA will get those mailed to you both soon. Thank you all for participating.


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