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Lets Go to Mars

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Keywords: Industrial, design, Space,
Subject(s): Biology, Art, Technology, Science, Writing, Physics
Grade 12
NETS-S Standard:
  • Creativity and Innovation
  • Communication and Collaboration
  • Research and Information Fluency
  • Critical Thinking, Problem Solving, and Decision Making
  • Technology Operations and Concepts
View Full Text of Standards
School: Chicago Intl Charter-Longwood, Chicago, IL
Planned By: Daryl Martin
Original Author: Daryl Martin, Chicago
TIME NEEDED: 5-6 weeks

Students will use various hardware and software tools to research and design a concept model for a Mars base. Using digital software they will design virtual models of the various modules needed for sustained living on the surface of Mars. Then using the digital models Students will then prototype (using a 3D printer) the needed parts for building the base as a scale model.

Students will be able to identify the problems of long term living on another planet, collaborate in the design process to solve the identified problems, design and construct a model of a habitat that would allow for sustained (6 months) living on Mars for 4-6 humans.

This project consists of 7 steps that students will be directly involved in. This is a team based project and students will be grouped into teams of 4-6
1. Identifying the problem(s)- students will have to determine what the risks are involved with sustained living on another world.
2. Research the problem(s)-students will use computers to research the problems associated with long-term living in space, as well as researching possible solutions.
3. Identify possible solutions- students will brainstorm and collaborate on possible solutions to the problem(s).
4. Choose the best solution(s)- as a team the students will choose which solutions will work the best for the base. They will also divide the workload among themselves so the next step goes faster.
5. Design prototype- students will use architectural and design programs to design floor plans of their teams base.
6. Construct model- Students can use a variety of materials from foam core board to 3D printer using their digital models as blueprints.
7. Presentation- the student teams will give a presentation to a panel of judges as if they were a real engineering team.

Students will be assessed at each step in the process to make sure they remain on topic and practical in their designs. They will also be assessed on their use of the digital media, construction methods, and use of information along the way.

Students will critique their teams work against other teams, and record any changes that they would make if they could go back and make them.

This project will allow students to experience how engineers and designers work and collaborate together to solve problems. This project will impact the students in my classroom by developing writing, research, and communication skills. They will also learn what biological systems are needed to maintain life.
Cross-Curriculum Ideas
This project covers a wide range of cross-curricular subjects, Biology, physics, architectural design, math, and technology.
teams can submit their projects for the Maker/science faire
Materials: Mobile Labs, Art Tools, Flash/USB Drives, High, Word Processor, Spreadsheet, Timeline, Integrating Technology