Fall Break Day Camp Takes Aurora Students on a Mission to Mars

3… 2…. 1... Blast off!

During fall break, a group of sixteen Aurora students from ages 8 - 11 joined Institute of Play and the ROCK Community Center on a Mission to Mars.

Throughout the week, campers took on the roles of scientists, engineers and physicists and worked together to rescue Commander Taylor, an astronaut who was stranded on Mars.

Several members of the The Studio School design team facilitated the camp, with the help of members of our Youth Design Team, who served as mentors for the younger students.

On day one, campers received their first dispatch from Commander Taylor.

Campers used math, science, and problem-solving skills to learn about the size of our solar system, estimate the distance between planets, and grapple with the implications for communication with Commander Taylor. Then they collaborated to break codes and send messages to the astronaut.

On the second day, campers began to solve problems for the abandoned astronaut. They explored the health benefits of different foods, and calculated the number of calories the astronaut would need until he could be rescued. Then campers in Mission Control groups sent video messages to the Commander with detailed information about what he should eat, what he shouldn’t eat, and how he could plant food to help him survive until rescue.

On the final day, campers teamed up to find a path through the unforgiving Martian terrain. Using trial and error, they made their way across a maze, and used the information they had learned to map out a detailed route for the stranded astronaut. Finally, campers built and launched rockets, testing and improving them through multiple iterations, until they were able to save Commander Taylor, who joined the campers and their parents in person for a final celebration.