Center Mission

Expedition Mars

Mission Goal: Search for evidence of life on Mars.

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Grade Level 5-8

Earth and Space Science

Visit a Challenger Learning Center

While searching for life on Mars, can your students save their Martian space stations and research from disaster?

The year is 2076. A handful of facilities have been established on Mars: A greenhouse, a mobile geological survey base, and a centralized research habitat. The primary human habitat is not on Mars, but on one of its moons, Phobos. A large shuttle, or Spacecraft, regularly ferries astronauts and scientists between the base on Phobos and the surface of Mars. The Spacecraft also carries parts to build a remotely operated vehicle (ROV) to continue the search for evidence of life and water.

However, when crew members discover an imminent threat to their Spacecraft and the Martian surface facilities, your students must work as a team to act quickly and save their stations, their research, and their lives.

Visit a Challenger Learning Center where students experience our fully immersive and interactive Expedition Mars simulation. They’ll be placed into teams to conduct research, collaborate to find solutions to urgent challenges, and experience real-world STEM careers.

Integrate pre-and post-mission activities, including Virtual Mission: Destination Mars into your classroom lessons to expand students’ understanding of Earth and space science and technology.

While Expedition Mars primarily focuses on Earth and space science themes, it also integrates physical science, life science, and engineering topics.

“Our mission to Mars helped me learn the importance of teamwork in the real world.”

- Student, Participated in Expedition Mars at Challenger Learning Center at Wheeling University (West Virginia)

Learning Objectives

  • Understand and analyze the surface features of Mars

  • Track and analyze storms and weather patterns on the Martian surface

  • Troubleshoot and solve problems using the engineering design process

  • Collaborate with peers to achieve a common goal

  • Enhance scientific vocabulary

  • Approximate program time: 2 hours

  • Pre- and post-lesson activities available

  • Reading level options available (student selection)

  • Closed captioning available

  • Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS) aligned

  • Common Core State Standards (CCSS) aligned

  • No personal student data collected