Welcome to The Mars Lab

The Mars Lab is a both a Mars Yard (a re-creation of the Martian surface) and a robotics lab established within Sydney’s Powerhouse Museum. Mars Lab education programs engage young people at high school in the search for life on Mars and the technologies which enable that search.

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Do you and your classmates have what it takes to be Mars Lab YouTube Stars?

The Mars Lab YouTube Video Competition is your chance to show off your creativity and movie-making skills.

There’s lots of sensational prizes and the best videos will star on Mars Lab’s official YouTube channel for the world to see!

COMPETITION DETAILS AND REGISTRATION

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60 Minutes On Mars is a five lesson teacher-led unit of curriculum-linked science activities that provide an introduction to the search for evidence of life on Mars culminating with a teleoperation rover driving experience. Students investigate the main geological and astrobiological features of interest on the Martian surface and use this knowledge to carefully plan their rover mission.

Students control the rover from their classroomTeachers can follow the lessons step by step or choose to extend and vary the focus for their students as they develop a scientific goal for their Mars photographic mission.

Suitable for Years 7-10

View the 60MOM lesson materials

REGISTER YOUR SCHOOL

All Mars Lab education programs must be booked and schools must be registered to access some of the Mars Lab resources.

Register your school
or
Contact us to find out more

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What happens in the Mars Lab?

A quick video introduction to Mars Lab education programs and the student experience.

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Mars Mission 5 is a three hour virtual excursion led by our Mars Lab team over video conferencing. MM5 introduces students to the robotic exploration of Mars and focusses on collaboration, planning, observation and scientific investigation. This education program involves students in a variety of experiences over VC and in their classrooms including discussions, mission planning, virtual rover driving and teleoperating our Mawson Rover in the Mars Yard. Suitable for Years 7-10 Find out more
Intro-To-Mars-Yard Introduction to the Mars Yard What is the Mars Yard? How was it built and how it is used by astrobiologists, engineers and high school students?
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IF WE FIND LIFE ON MARS: MEET NASA’S CHRIS MCKAY

PART OF NATIONAL SCIENCE WEEK
TUESDAY, 19 AUGUST 2014
9.30 – 10.30 AM (EST)
BOOK AT DART CONNECTIONS
Download an event flyer.

If we find alien life on Mars, what would it look like and should we help it?

Meet Professor Chris McKay, planetary scientist at NASA Ames Research Center with a special interest in terraforming – the process of modifying a planet’s atmosphere, temperature and topography to be similar to Earth.

Chris is an expert on the origin and evolution of life.  He works on the Hygens Probe, the Mars Pheonix lander and the Mars Science Laboratory (Curiosity mission).  Chris believes that we need to explore Mars to discover whether there is any microbial life before taking first steps toward terraforming, and that if indigenous alien life is found in an obscure niche or dormant on Mars, we should remove all Earth life and alter Mars to support the global spread of this alien life on Mars.

Chris also studies extremophiles – organisms that live in extreme environments – and has travelled to extreme locations such as Death Valley, the Atacama Desert, Axel Heiberg Island, and ice-covered lakes in Antarctica to study these incredible organisms.

Chris will join us live from NASA Ames Research Center to chat about his work as a planetary scientist, his adventures to extreme locations and his thoughts about terraforming Mars.  This is a unique opportunity for your students to ask questions and discuss ideas with a NASA scientist.

Watch a video of Chris McKay.  Download an event flyer.

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