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. Students also talk live with a NASA expert.

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.