Sensing our World summer camp is a one-week summer science program for middle school students, where we’ll be exploring the physics behind colonizing Mars. Though similar to Earth in many ways, Mars also poses unique challenges that could greatly impact the success of colonists. Some important questions we must answer before landing on the Red Planet include:
- What are the challenges of getting to Mars and how do we solve them?
- How much energy does it take to support colonists for a year? What could we use to provide this energy?
- How do reduced gravity and foreign soil conditions affect plant growth? Could this mean we can’t farm on Mars?
- Can we use a compass to navigate on Mars? How else do we know where we’re going?
- Is the Martian atmosphere really that different?
- How is the weather different on Mars? How does it affect the structures we build?
Besides discussions about these topics and many more, participants will also get hands-on experiences! They will have the opportunity to:
- Design and create their own “Mars Habitats,” imagining how the first colonists would live
- Build a basic telescope and learn how Mars was discovered
- Build and test compressed-air rockets and blast them off!
July 11-15, 2016 at the University of Notre Dame.