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STEM Mars Mission

Have you ever wanted to walk on the surface of Mars? The PPN Rocket Crew did! And here is what happened…

As part of their Rocketry focus in STEM, Mr Harris, Mrs Vice, Bus Driver Peter and the Year 5 and 6 Rocket Crews ventured out on an exhilarating excursion to Hamilton Space School. Hamilton offers a fully interactive Mars Mission where students can experience life on another planet.

There was much anticipation as the students of Team 1 donned space suits with breathing apparatus, headset, boots and gloves. Each ‘astronaut’ was assigned a role, given their mission objectives and ushered into the air lock in readiness for Mission 1. Meanwhile, the students of Team 2 were learning the ropes in Mission Control - where each student was assigned to a computer then given a specific role and headset to communicate with their astronaut partner. Tasks included recording and analysing data, giving instructions or monitoring weather and vital signs.

“You may leave the airlock and enter the planet surface,” came a voice from Mission Control. Team 1 emerged slowly from the air lock onto an eerie Martian landscape, complete with rocky terrain and lighting effects. The astronauts went about their duties, constantly in discussion with their peers back in Mission Control. Some collected rock specimens for analysis, some explored with metal detectors and Geiger counters, while others reported changes to the weather on the planet surface. “SAND STORM! Evacuate to the airlock!” came the urgent command. All at once, Team 1 hurriedly rushed to evacuate from the planet surface. Did they make it in time? Sadly not.

Now it was Team 2’s turn! The teams switched places and Mission 2 ensued. All was going well until… “SOLAR STORM APPROACHING! Evacuate!” yelled a Team 1 member. Unfortunately, Team 2 did not heed the warning.

With all students safely back from their adventures on Mars, we were able to discuss the many lessons learned: teamwork, communication, focus.

All in all, this excursion was a very successful mission and a valuable educational experience for the Year 5 and 6 PPN Rocket Crews.


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