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Scientists plan a mission to Mars

On Thursday the 21st of February Year 8 & 9 pupils were treated to a science lesson delivered by a company called science made simple. Science made simple are a Cardiff based company who deliver a range of STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths) educational experiences for schools and festivals.

Science made simple sent specialist presenters, Grace and Zoe to test out and gather feedback from teachers and learners on their new ‘Deciding Destinations’ activity. Pupils were provided with six actual satellite images of Mars to analyse using a range of STEM skills. The activity was all based on that of the European ExoMars rover being sent to Mars in 2020. The students had to analyse the sites and decide which would be best for the rover to land on in 2020, just like planetary scientists and rover engineers had to do when planning their mission.

The pupils thoroughly enjoyed the activity and their feedback was very positive. Some of the things the pupils learned was: that there is evidence that water once existed on Mars; a Mars rover can only travel 10 meters a day; the rover has to land 2000 meters below the mean radius of the planet as Mars’ atmosphere is so thin.

The teachers also enjoyed the activity and are looking to introduce it in to the Whitmore High School programme of study for next year. A huge thank you to science made simple, Grace and Zoe for an engaging, fun learning experience.