2013 Mars Society STEM Education Event at the Boulder Convention (Issue #15)

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*Updated Aug. 9, 2013*
by: Nicole Willett
The Mars Society is convening its 16th Annual International Mars Society Convention at the University of Colorado at Boulder from August 15 – 18, 2013. The convention will include many key scientists and policy experts and also involve panel discussions on various Mars-related topics.  Some of the speakers include Dr. Carol Stoker, NASA astrobiologist, Dr. David Brain of the University of Colorado/Boulder and MAVEN co-investigator, and Dr. Steven Squyres of Cornell University and principal investigator for NASA’s Spirit and Opportunity rovers as well as the recipient of the 2013 Mars Pioneer Award.  For more information and registration details, please visit our web site.  Also a list of confirmed speakers is now available online.

The Boulder convention runs from Thursday thru Sunday.  On Saturday, August 17th our organization will be hosting a special program called the 2013 Mars Society STEM Education Event.  There will be hands-on activities, guest speakers and special presentations.   The purpose of this program is to inspire young children and students while simultaneously encouraging them to learn more about STEM subjects, investigate space sciences and delve into the issue of the human exploration and settlement of Mars. 

**FREE Admission to the STEM Education Event for ages 0-18**

Dr ZDr. Robert Zubrin, President and Founder of the Mars Society, will address the guests of the event with a very special talk aimed at students.  Dr. Zubrin is also President of Pioneer Astronautics, an aerospace R&D company located in Lakewood, Colorado.  Formerly a Staff Engineer at Lockheed Martin Astronautics in Denver, he holds a Masters degree in Aeronautics and Astronautics and a Ph.D. in Nuclear Engineering from the University of Washington.  Viewed as a respected author and a renowned expert on Mars, Dr. Zubrin has testified in recent years before several U.S. government committees and in 2009 spoke in front of the Augustine Commission on the subject of the future of America’s human space flight program.  
Astronaut_Abby_PhotoAlso participating in the program will be Astronaut Abby, a 15-year-old student from Minnesota, who will talk about her journey and desire to become the first astronaut on Mars.  Abby has always had a dream to be the first astronaut on the Red Planet. Her quest has taken her on quite a journey so far.  Abby’s adventures include witnessing several space shuttle launches at Kennedy Space Center, participating in space camp and visiting many space museums and education centers.  Her accomplishments include being guided by various NASA, Canadian and ESA professionals including an ESA astronaut mentor.  Abby has shared her enthusiasm and vision to thousands around the world. Recently, she has been given a rare invitation to the legendary Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan, a former Soviet republic, to personally witness the Soyuz TMA-09M, to the International Space Station. She was invited by Italian Astronaut Luca Parmitano, who has been active in her mentoring.  For more information about her adventures , please visit her web site.
YRC13 ModelChuck McMurray, Deputy Education Director for the Mars Society, will be launching the organization’s Youth Rover Challenge for middle and high schools.  This challenge is a national competition targeted at middle school and high school students from grades 8-12. The program is designed to give younger students the chance to learn more about the engineering and design challenges required to build and operate a rover. The competitive events allow students to measure the capabilities of their rover designs, as well as the ability for the rover to execute surface exploration and other duties. Younger students will get a chance to test their skills and prepare for the university level competition, while building on skills needed for future STEM careers that support planetary exploration and Earth-based research in harsh Mars-like environments.
Other exciting guests will include Christopher Nie and the Mars Foundation. Christopher is from theUniversity of Colorado/Boulder’s Students for the Exploration and Development of Space (CUSEDS) chapter and will be on hand with many interactive activities, such as developing space related postcards, stomp rockets, Alka-seltzer rockets, Mars rock geology, space mining, and crater formation.  The Mars Foundation will also be displaying how 3-D printing works.  This presentation is important to future Marsonauts.  3-D printing may very well be used to “print” habitats utilizing the resources found on the surface of Mars.
STEM Event Schedule:
  • 10:00 Mars Foundation, Bruce MacKenzie Mars Settlement
  • 10:30 Mars Foundation, Bruce MacKenzie & Seth Sinnemma 3-D printing for Mars
  • 11:15 Victoria Jordan Weather Balloon project
  • 12-1 Lunch Break
  • 1:00 Chris Nie CUSEDS
  • 1:30 Carol Kendall Red Planet: Read, Write, Explore!
  • 2:00 Dr. Robert Zubrin
  • 2:30 Chuck McMurray Youth Rover Challenge
  • 3:00 Astronaut Abby Quest to Become the First Martian Astronaut

You may register for the event here.

3-d printing hplus magazine com

We hope to see you all in Boulder on August 17th! 
[Images: TMS, Astronaut Abby, hplusmagazine.com]

For program inquiries and information about volunteer opportunities, please contact nicolew@marssociety.org.

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The Mars Society is a fully registered non-profit tax-exempt 501(c)(3) charitable organization in the United States.