Normally Mars is 33.9 million miles from Earth. But for a few days this past January, Mars got a whole lot closer.
After the success of Guard Up founder, Meghan Gardner’s work on the Mission to Mars STEM summer camps in Seoul, Korea last summer, ST Unitas (the parent company of The Princeton Review and the largest Tech Ed company in all of Asia), decided to send their campers to the USA this winter that would take educational adventures to a whole new level.
Students from Seoul, Korea joined The STEM Initiative, a collaboration between ST Unitas, professors and staff from Harvard Graduate School of Education, and Guard Up’s Guardian Adventures. This first of its kind collaboration integrates traditional STEM-based learning principles with informal education — experiential and student-driven processes that foster learning through hands-on activity.
The students spent one week studying at Harvard University, then applied their lessons during a highly interactive Mars adventure at Guard Up in Burlington, MA. Guard Up turned their entire facility into a space expedition complete with the interior of a space ship, terrestrial shelters, space suits, remote-controlled robots, and more.
During their time at Guard Up, visitors worked as a team to develop the necessary skills to both get to, and survive on, the red planet. This included exciting activities such as:
- Determining “escape velocity” — the necessary speed/energy to escape the earth’s gravitational pull.
- Extreme weather survival skills
- Electrolysis and oxygen production
- Constructing and understanding two-stage rockets
- Building structures for harsh environments (geodesic domes)
We are also excited about continuing to work with The STEM Initiative this summer in both Seoul, Korea and here in Burlington, MA as more kids from Korea and Asia visit us for our own version of STEM and story-based adventures.