Learning Labs

space science and engineering

Mission to Mars: Living in Space

Students use 21st-century learning skills and technologies to support a colony of humans on Mars. They'll investigate how to best meet needs for food, water, power and a safe atmosphere using real research.

About the lab

  • Grades: 6-8
  • Capacity: 30 students
  • Duration: 60 minutes
  • Cost: $120
  • Offered Tuesday, Thursday and Friday at 10:15 and 11:45 a.m.

Next Generation Science Standards

Science and Engineering Practices:

  • Asking questions and defining problems
  • Developing and using models
  • Planning and carrying out investigations
  • Analyzing and interpreting data
  • Constructing explanations and designing solutions
  • Engaging in argument from evidence
  • Obtaining, evaluating and communicating information

Crosscutting Concepts:

  • Patterns
  • Energy and matter
  • Structure and function

Disciplinary Core Ideas:

PS 3: Energy
LS 2: Ecosystems
ESS 1: Earth's place in the universe
ESS 3: Earth and human activity
ETS 1: Engineering design
ETS 2: Links among engineering, technology, science and society

Lab goals

Students will:

  • Explore STEM with a focus on NASA research, missions, goals and aims.
  • Communicate effectively with peers and adult role models and practice 21st century science and technology skills.
  • Work collaboratively to tackle many of the same challenges that NASA scientists are confronting themselves in the effort to travel to and inhabit Mars.
  • Engage in inquiry-based and hands-on science learning experiences.