Learning Labs

space science and engineering

Mission to Mars: Traveling to Space

Students work collaboratively to tackle the same challenges confronting scientists in the effort to travel to Mars. Live via video conference, students also talk with NASA scientists working through similar design challenges.

About the lab

  • Grades: 6-8
  • Capacity: 30 students
  • Duration: 75 minutes
  • Cost: $140
  • Offered Wednesday at 10:15 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
  • Using mathematics and computational thinking
  • Constructing explanations and designing solutions
  • Engaging in argument from evidence
  • Obtaining, evaluating and communicating information

Crosscutting Concepts:

  • Patterns
  • Cause and effect
  • Scale, proportion and quantity
  • Systems and system models
  • Structure and function
  • Stability and change

Disciplinary Core Ideas:

PS 2: Motion and stability
PS 3: Energy
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.
  • Be exposed to working scientists and other personnel at partnering NASA centers.