With the latest discovery of ice under the surface of Mars, excitement has stirred inside the science community and the hopes of landing humans on Mars has grown tremendously.

A select few Year 9 and 10 students were given the chance to visit the ‘Victorian Space Science Education Centre’ to learn more about what it takes to set up civilisation on the red planet, Mars.

The day was filled with fun, interactive workshops, some of those including:

  • Biology: Plant and grow potatoes and try to avoid contamination
  • Robotics: Program and run a machine to test the moisture levels on Mars
  • Chemistry: Convert water into hydrogen to create enough energy to run a city.

Each student was assigned a role, whether it be ‘psychologist’ or ‘biologist’, everyone had specific knowledge to replay back to their groups when the day was almost done.

Everyone worked together, listening to each other’s experiences and suggestions on what to bring and who to leave on Earth.

The final stage was to create a short presentation describing why we chose the people and resources to bring with us into space.

The mission to Mars proved to be challenging. Factors such as food and water supply, potential health risks in space, as well as lack of certain skills needed to survive were things that we needed to consider before moving on.

At the end of the day, the students of William Ruthven Secondary College left VSSEC with new knowledge and a newfound anticipation for humanity’s mission to Mars.

Te Ana Carlson 10C