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Learning Labs

space science and engineering

Mars 2040

Learn how NASA plans to get the first manned mission to Mars by the year 2040. What would you pack for a long journey in isolation? What would you eat when you can't order out or go grocery shopping? Find out what items astronauts pack for space travel. Students will pack their own virtual suitcase for a journey to Mars whether they are in the classroom or learning from home!

About the lab

  • Grades: 5-8
  • Capacity: Up to 35 students
  • Duration: 45 minutes
  • Live via Zoom or Google Meet
  • Offered Tuesdays through Fridays at a flexible time based on your schedule
  • Cost: $100
  • Materials: Students will need these common items
    • Lined notebook paper or graph paper
    • Pencil or pen
    • LEGO bricks (optional)

Next Generation Science Standards

Science and Engineering Practices:

  • Asking questions and defining problems
  • Developing and using models
  • Planning and carrying out investigations
  • Constructing explanations and designing solutions
  • Obtaining, evaluating and communicating information

Crosscutting Concepts:

  • Energy and matter
  • Structure and function

Disciplinary Core Ideas:

PS 3: Energy
ESS 1: Earth's place in the universe
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 science learning experiences.