When ST Unitas, one of the largest Tech Ed companies in Asia and parent company of The Princeton Review, wanted to design an live STEM summer camp that reflected the quality of their online trans-media presence, they approached Professor Joseph Blatt at Harvard Graduate School of Education (HGSE). Joe brought in Guardian Adventures and we partnered with Professor Uche Amaechi, also of HGSE, to create the Mission to Mars STEM Summer Camp for ST Unitas.
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.
In 2018, Guardian Adventures and professors from HGSE created the full STEM curriculum as well as the story behind Mission to Mars. The camp was held in Seoul, South Korea and was a huge success. From there, ST Unitas contracted Guardian Adventures to create a Winter Camp for kids from Asia, to be held here in the USA.
The students spent one week studying at Harvard University, then applied their lessons during a highly interactive Mars adventure at Guardian Adventures in Burlington, MA. Guardian Adventures 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 Guardian Adventures, visitors worked as a team to develop the necessary skills to 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)
Each year since, we have designed new curriculum and a higher level experience for returning campers – both in South Korea and for their students who travel each winter to our facility in the USA. These camps are now part of the regular offering for ST Unitas and their clients.