10th-Grade STEM Project: Mission to Mars
Develping A Colony On Mars
The first half of the project begins with the challenge to design a transporter, wind turbine or biosphere prototype for Mars that can be tested.
In the first Explore phase, students begin by defining their challenge goals and roles. They set up exploration companies and design logos. They then research the conditions on Mars, how the terrain, atmosphere, winds and temperature will affect their designs.
In the next phase of the project, the Create phase, supported by their research and creative techniques such as brainstorming and modeling, students sketch their protoype designs, compare their sketches and choose their best ideas. In order to optimize their designs, students make craft-based models of their designs and test them. These tests lead them to changes that they show in their detailed CAD drawings. They 3D print parts of their designs to incorporate in their final prototypes.
In the second half of the project they begin with the challenge to design a colony that can support 1,000 inhabitants on Mars. In the Explore phase they research different types of governments and different urban planning models along with Maslow’s hierarchy of needs to develop a colony design. They use the same creative techniques in the second Create phase for their colonies and finally they present the full project, including marketing, in a trade show format.
To read more about the project, see the Project Overview.
The grapics in the right-hand column link to the various "workbooks" used by students throughout the project.