Grade 6 students try to unlock the secrets of Mars at the MiSci Challenger Learning Center

Students go the mission control through the transporter at MiSci

About 60 grade 6 students – 30 on Dec. 18 and 30 on Dec. 19 – got the chance to explore Mars from its moon, Phobos, as they oversaw an astronaut landing party searching for ways to confirm that life had existed on the Martian planet.

The Expedition Mars program, run through the Museum of Innovation and Science (MiSci) Challenger Learning Center in Schenectady, gave students an example of how Mission Control operates at NASA.

Under this scenario, the year is 2042 and students are based on the Mission Control on Phobos while an astronaut crew strives to land on the Martian surface to collect important samples that could lead to proof of life on the planet in the past.

The students were supervised by middle school science teachers David Swain, Danielle Bogue, Sean O’Brien and Jacklyn Insogna.  This field trip and experience was made possible partly due to the generous donation of a community member.

Students also visited the Suits-Bueche planetarium for the “Return to the Moon to Stay” presentation.  Students also had time to interact with the museum’s many hands-on displays before returning to the middle school.

Check out a few photos from the visits below. Click on the image to enlarge it.