As a reward for winning the Mars Day poster contest held at Salt River Elementary School back in November, fourth-grader Iyanna Chavarria and fifth-grader Anesia Kisto were both able to go on a memorable field trip on January 17. They went to visit three of the most famous science labs at Arizona State University: the Mars Space Flight Facility; ISTB4, the brand-new interdisciplinary science and technology building; and Decision Theater, a scientific visualization lab.
“The winners got to take their families along as well. They asked a lot of questions, curious about [everything from] the size of the antennas on the Mars Opportunity rover to the diameter of the Gale Crater, on which the more recent rover landed,” said Angelo Fernando, SRES Robotics Team coach.
The students toured a science center housing robots and meteorites and walked up to a life-size model of the Mars Curiosity rover. They also got to use 3D glasses to navigate inside a human brain.
In November 2012, staff from the Mars Education Program at ASU gave a presentation on space science to the members of the SRES Robotics Club. That visit also featured a videoconference call with NASA software engineer Kody Ensley, a member of the Confederated Salish and Kootenai Tribes of the Flathead Indian Reservation in Pablo, Montana.
The Mars Day poster competition at SRES featured the theme “To Infinity and Beyond.” Many students created posters, which were hung up in the hall near the library. The judges of the poster contest were from the ASU and NASA Mars education programs.