This year, we were delighted to welcome two new primary schools Towie and Craigievar, to join Tarland in providing After School Clubs. Based on our experience of running Tarland’s after school club, this year we are designing most sessions as responses to an over-arching project – so we are off to Mars as colonists.
Lots has been written on this, but the real issues around being colonists on Mars are still being addressed, so here is our project for the winter and spring :
THE MARS COLONY : Between now and the Science Festival in March, we want you to design and build a model of your ideal Mars self-sustaining colony. The rules are :
- Everything you include must be supported by science or technology that is possible.
- You must be able to explain how your design and model is possible.
- You can look up the alternative designs on-line, but we want something that is your version – not a copy of other peoples.
- At Christmas we expect you to come up with a “Christmas Card” from your Mars colonists which is either an animation or coded on Scratch.
- You don’t need to worry about the design of the space flight to Mars.
- You do need to worry about how you will keep your colonists alive!
- We will help you by designing science and technology sessions in the light of your desired design.
- You may choose either to build a colony addressing the issues of the current Mars environment or attempt to transform the entire planetary environment (terraforming) to make it more earth-like.
To do this project we need to think about :
- What is Mars like ?
- What do your colonists need to stay alive?
- What might kill your colonists?
- Do you ever want to return to Earth?
- What resources do you have on Mars?
- So how can you provide for a self-sustaining colony?
Every decision has consequences and we need to record our decisions :
- Science will inform our decisions
- Technology with
- Engineering will help us solve any issues
- Maths will tell us the size of the issue
Our art and our ethics will help us design the sort of world we want to live in.
Our results are shown on our page “Gone to Mars”