Full course description

Starts January 25, 2016

This course is designed for middle and high school students (ages 14 -18) to apply science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) concepts to evaluate and solve global challenges. Students will work collaboratively on international teams to create a simulated, sustainable outpost on Mars. The course is comprised of five modules, and participants will hear from experts in the areas of clean water, renewable energy, clean air, food and nutrition, and Mars. Each team will be challenged to research and apply 21st century learning skills to the environmental elements of Mars while developing viable solutions that will make life on the Red Planet suitable for humans. Completion of the course will culminate in a conference where participants will engage in a simulated and completely immersive Martian learning experience at Space Center Houston.

NASA is preparing for a manned mission to Mars in 2030. Will you be prepared to join the crew? In this course, participants will learn basic facts about Mars and the essentials humans need for survival on the planet.

Learning Objectives

  • Participants will gain a more well-rounded understanding of the planet Mars and inhabiting Mars through conversations that will be facilitated by the Space Center Houston.
  • Participants will engage in challenges that are incorporated within each module.
  • Students will actively participate in each Governing Body of Countries (GBC) session.

Team-based Learning Activities

  • Teams will consist of students between the ages of 14 and 18.
  • Teams can designate a contact person who will retrieve and distribute information to the team from Space Center Houston if the information cannot be communicated through this site or Space Center Houston’s website.
  • Teams will work together to complete tasks.

Time Expectation for Each Module

  • This course contains five modules, and we will spend 3 weeks on each module.
  • Your team might devote at 3 or more hours a week to work on team tasks.

Cost for Participation

There is no cost to participate in the online program

Shawn Burgs

Shawn Burgs


Professional facilitator, adult learning specialist and corporate trainer, Shawn Burgs has inspired many to embrace change, create trust-based relationships and live more purposeful lives. Speaking from the heart of her own experiences as a wife, mother, and corporate executive, Shawn has the unique ability to connect with any audience. Leadership and Organizational Development is just one of the ways she encourages individuals to access the tools necessary to help them realize and maximize their potential.