Elementary Students Launch ‘Mission to Mars’ from WSU
OGDEN, Utah — Weber State University will host Mission to Mars Link-Up Day, an event to inspire new generations of leaders in the fields of science, technology, engineering and math (STEM), Tuesday, April 25 from 8 a.m.-2p.m. in the Swenson Gym.
Nearly 200 fifth-grade students from local schools will construct inflatable plastic habitats to simulate shelters that can sustain life on Mars. Each 12-foot by-8 foot structure will be connected through a series of tunnels — hence the event’s Link-Up Day name.
Mission to Mars is sponsored by WSU’s College of Engineering, Applied Science & Technology (EAST) and Hill Air Force Base STEM Outreach Program. The event is modeled after the mission simulations at the Challenger Center for Space Science Education in Washington, D.C.
"Mission to Mars is an engaging and fun academic project for our local students,” said Dana Dellinger, WSU Center for Technology Outreach director. “We love how it encourages kids to apply the science, math and technology they learn in school to a real-world problem. NASA has a goal of sending people to Mars in the 2030s. These kids will be just the right age for the trip."
Participating students will gain practical skills as they complete hands-on activities. Students will also get to learn about Air Force terminology and technology as they work alongside professional engineers.
"The Air Force has a wide range of STEM opportunities,” said Paul Traher, HAFB engineer and Mission to Mars event coordinator. “The Mission to Mars program is a great opportunity for the base to partner with Weber State and show youth that STEM is fun and exciting. Through programs and partnerships like these, we hope to have a positive impact on kids and open their eyes to all the opportunities in STEM waiting for them as they grow and pursue their dreams and goals."
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