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. Using at-home materials, students will pack their own suitcase for a journey to Mars!

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.