Ninth grade students from Lewis Palmer High School, Mitchell High School, Peyton High School, Peyton Online Academy, and St. Mary’s High School became aerospace, mechanical, and structural engineers, as well as meteorologists and mapping technicians as they experienced our newest simulation-based program, Earth to Mars.
During Earth to Mars, students participated in a Space Launch System (SLS) rocket launch to send a payload to Mars. They worked together to track storms and trajectory and ensured the communications and electrical systems were performing as expected. After the launch, the students did research to learn more about life on Mars. They brainstormed what Mars habitats would look like and what elements would be required to survive on Mars. The students designed small prototypes of their Mars habitats using 3D printing pens and a drawing app on Microsoft Surface Pro tablets.
The program was a huge success with 97% of the students reporting that they had fun during the program and that they helped make the mission successful and 77% of the students said they like learning about science and math the way it was presented during Earth to Mars. Not only did our program excite students about learning STEM, but it also encouraged them to pursue a career in these fields. More than half of the students mentioned they were interested in a job in a STEM field after participating in Earth to Mars.
A huge thanks to Raytheon for making 2018 Engineers Week a success!
Earth to Mars is a Challenger Center simulation-based learning experience that delivers science technology, engineering and math (STEM) concepts in real-world scenarios. Through a combination of computer-driven simulation and hands-on activities, the program excites students about STEM topics, exposes students to a wide range of STEM careers and help students build important 21st century skills like critical thinking, problem solving and collaboration.