On 28 October 2020, our students went to Mars! We spent a whole day at Hamilton Space School, a designated facility and specialist curriculum to lead space education.
Hamilton Secondary College is one of the two institutions in Australia (the other is Strathmore College in Melbourne) able to run the Mission to Mars STEM activity.
The Space Centre has four main areas which support our space science program – a simulated Martian crater and landscape with seven different geological zones, a Mission Control Room, a Briefing Room, and a space laboratory. It has been designed to provide an immersive, hands-on learning experience.
The briefing room is an audio-visual experience where students watch an introductory video about some of the issues that they need to overcome in moving humans to Mars. Students role-play space scenarios with teams taking turns to operate as astronauts dressed in full space suits collecting samples on the Mars surface, and scientists monitoring data and problem-solving in Mission Control.
The design simulates real-life Martian explorations in the same way that NASA sends space probes to land in craters, as they are prime locations to gather samples.
After the mission, they went to the laboratory and analysed the rock samples they collected on the surface.
Our next Mission to Mars activity will be on 11 March 2021.