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Our Lady of Good Counsel 5 th Graders Imagine Mars 2009. Led by Mrs. Marcie Steel, our two Social Studies classes of 50 students were broken up into 6 specialist teams to send a colony of 100 people to Mars.

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Led by Mrs. Marcie Steel, our two Social Studies classes of 50 students were broken up into 6 specialist teams to send a colony of 100 people to Mars.


Our mission is to help Nasa find ways to set up a colony of 100 people on Mars by the year 2030.

  • Our first step was to break up our two classes of 50 students into 6 groups of mission specialists. Those specialists researched many things including: gravity and weather, food and shelter, oxygen and water, community and employment and arts and culture on Mars.

The Mission

video conference
Video Conference
  • We even held a first ever video conference with NASA engineers to learn more about Mars and what’s being done to make it easier to visit and maybe even live on the planet!
  • We learned so much.

Students speak with Dr. Bruce Banerdt at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, California.


The Mission Specialist Teams

  • Gravity and Weather
  • Food and Shelter
  • Oxygen and Water
  • Rocket Building and Transportation
  • Culture and the Arts
  • Community and Employment

Gravity and Weather Mission Specialist Team had to….

  • Find out ways to build a colony that works around the planet’s gravity restrictions. Think about architecture, housing, education, sports recreation etc.
  • Also think of ways to create or simulate their own weather on Mars.
the food and shelter mission specialist team had to
The Food and Shelter Mission Specialist Teamhad to…
  • Find ways to produce food on Mars.
  • How to best use carbon dioxide on the planet to produce food or crops.
  • Decide if there is any soil on Mars that can be used for food crops.
the oxygen and water mission specialist team had to
The Oxygen and WaterMission Specialist Teamhad to…
  • Find ways to produce oxygen and water on Mars
  • Find ways to best use the main gas in the atmosphere on Mars (carbon dioxide.)
  • Find out if the water they recently found on Mars can be used effectively for their colony.
  • Find other ways to produce water on Mars.
  • Find other ways to produce Oxygen on mars
the rocket building and transportation mission specialist team had to
The Rocket Building and Transportation Mission Specialist Teamhad to…
  • Solve the problem of visiting Mars during its period of revolution (687 earth days)
  • Decide if they would either stay for 3 days or for a year until Earth and Mars line up well enough for that window of transport to open up again.
  • Figure out ways to produce fuel to get home?
  • Design and build spacecraft or Rovers to get around Mars.
employment and community mission specialist team had to
Employment and CommunityMission Specialist Teamhad to…. 
  • Come up with things for people to do.
  • Create different jobs
  • Create communities
  • Provide things that they value about their community on earth and find ways to recreate that on Mars
the culture and the arts mission specialist team had to
The Culture and the Arts Mission Specialist Teamhad to….
  • Think of the culture we enjoy today on earth?Think about the arts and their importance to us on Earth?
  • Decide what would be important as far as culture and the arts go n Mars.
  • Find ways to do things on Mars for fun.
  • Find ways for people to unwind and enjoy culture, the arts, fashion, entertainment, etc?

Gravity and Weather

Gravity: When the first human visitors step foot on the surface of Mars, they’re immediately going to notice the gravity on Mars is 38% the gravity on Earth. If you weigh 100 kg on Earth, you would only weigh 38kg on Mars.

Sports on Mars: The pull of a planet’s gravity depends on the size of the planet. Since Mars has a smaller mass than Earth, the gravity is much weaker. It is about 1/3 of the Earth’s gravity. That means things weigh about 2/3 less on Mars than Earth. This could make sports interesting. For example, in basketball a normal ball weighs about 22 ounces. In Mars it would weigh about 7 ounces. When the player throws the ball up it could go really high. To make the game work better on Mars you could raise the basketball net from 10 feet to 30 feet. In baseball, you could triple the size of the field to stop constant home runs.

Housing: The material for the house would have to be 1/3 heavier so people couldn’t lift it. Materials would need to be stronger to hold the people. Buildings would need to be 1 floor (Elevators wouldn’t work well.)

Physical Education: In soccer you would be able to kick the ball farther, so you would need to make the field bigger. Rules for the presidential fitness test would change because you would be able to run faster and jump higher. Pull ups and sit ups would be easier.

gravity and weather16
Gravity and Weather
  • Weather: Winds usually blow along the surface of Mars at about 6 miles (10 km) per hour. But space probes have recorded windy gusts of up to 55 miles (90 km) per hour. Dust storms of spinning winds- like tornados- blow reddish dust around Mars. The largest of these storms can cover the entire planet with a dusty blanket.
  • The weather on Mars is cold. Mars is a much colder place than Earth. The average surface temperature on Mars is about – 80° F (-60° C). Temperatures range from -195° F (125° C) at the poles in winter to 70° F (20° C) at the equator.
  • When temperatures are lowest, water can freeze out of the air on Mars. Then, frosts, mists or fogs of water and ice can form. It sometimes snows flakes of frozen carbon dioxide at the Martian poles. It is too cold for liquid water to exist in the air, so it never rains on Mars.
gravity and weather17
Gravity and Weather

The Weathertron 3000 is our robot we invented to change the weather and the seasons. It will control the whole of Mars’ weather unless you put it in a dome where it cannot get out.

Natural Disasters: One natural disaster is the dust storm. Winds gust up to 55 miles per hour. Dust storms are just like tornadoes but they blow around red dust. The storm covers the whole planet!

Here are some rules to stay safe in a dust storm:

1. Stay indoors.

2. Cover all openings in your home.

3. Make sure each family member gets out their M.L.A.K.C.(This stands for all of our names) dust storm kit.

4. Each family member must put on a dust mask and goggles.

gravity and weather18
Gravity and Weather
  • A lot of people wonder what it would be like to live on Mars without getting lifted rather than floating into space from Gravity well all the answers are right here. If people lived on Mars I am sure it wouldn’t be like our everyday life on Mars. Well here are some ideas. One way to keep ourselves on the ground is if we wear a special uniform to weigh us down, but you can still have freedom. For games and sports on Mars we would build a sport store that was nailed into Mars that would have gravity inside and outside of it so it could stay on the while people go in and outside of the store. Inside the store there would be a gravity pump! The gravity pump will have everlasting gravity so that when you bounce a ball it won’t go up somewhere in space instead the ball will have everlasting gravity to stay on Mars. If you are a big baseball or basketball fan of basketball or baseball could be gone into space some place if you didn’t have the gravity pump.
  • To live on Mars we would build houses that are hammered into Mars that can stay on Mars at all times! And the furniture and utensils have special materials that are made with to keep them on Mars at all the times! On Mars your mass is 1/6 of your mass on Earth.
  • Ways to get people on Mars is to make things extodinary happen such as the weather. there can be drastic weather changes on Mars. If this weather was good enough to allow people survive humans would go to extreme lengths to explore Mars.
  • If people lived their everyday life on Mars I am sure they wouldn’t be like our planet. Well here are some ideas for weather.
  • Weather: There wouldn’t be any major weather changes. So we created the Weather Machine 5000. This creates any kind of weather. you have to make sure you have at least 20 people living on Mars and a Mars Township Crew for the machine to work and operate. We need these people on Mars because the people on Mars need to change the weather machine 1 every 3 weeks. It is a very important and responsible job for someone to take.
  • These are facts about Mars and why it can be dangerous to live there:
  • The moon Phobos orbits dangerously close to Mars’ atmosphere. Someday the gravitational pull will smash the moon to bits. The debris will stay on Mars’ orbit, making a ring like on the rings of Saturn.
  • So many missions have disspered that has led scientists to wonder if something strange is happening. They refer to Mars as the “Bermuda Triangle” of the solar system.

We found…

  • *The month March is named after Mars.
  • *Mars' moons are Phobos and Deimos.
  • * The warmest temperature Mars has ever reached was 70 degrees Fahrenheit.
  • *Mars' largest volcano is Olympus Mons.
  • *Mars is the fourth planet from the sun.

Rocket Building and Transportation

Since our team is doing rocket building and transportation, we decided to build a rocket. On of the students brought in a tin foil rocket! Also, another student said that she could make a rocket out of Legos!



For transportation, we thought we should dress up. One of the girls volunteered to dress up as a crossing guard. Another wanted to bring in her “jet pack” and demonstrate that it was for transportation. We also thought it would be really cool to make a Mars planet and land Barbies dolls on them. So we brought in the Barbies, and we made one of our team members a Marscostume. So he becameMars!



We needed something to put on our posters, so we thought we should bring in a map of the solar system and to make a poster about some satellites, launching plans, and the Mars Rover! The next day, two of our teammates brought in the map of the solar system and a poster of some satellites, launching plans, and the Mars Rover! We were all glad! We all helped glue on the pictures and typed up paragraphs.


The Dome

Two girls in our group thought about making a dome because if people were living on Mars, they would have to live in a dome. They put inside the dome some horses, people, pigs, a chicken, and plants. It also mentioned what the plants and animals in the dome are for.


Planning the Presentation

The day before we showed our Mars presentation, we practiced what we were going to say. We all thought of launching Frankie’s rocket into the air, and landing it on “Mars” or the boy dressed up as Mars. After that, we would start explaining everything.

oxygen and water team27
Oxygen and Water Team

Scientists said today they have "found proof" of water ice on Mars away from the polar ice caps, a discovery made by NASA's Phoenix Mars Lander. The finding is a crucial first step toward learning whether the ground on Mars is hospitable, because all life as we know it requires water.

Now scientists can get on with the business of studying the chemistry of Mars dirt in more detail. Finding ice on Mars isn't completely shocking, since observations from past satellites sent to orbit the planet, such as the 2001 Mars Odyssey spacecraft, have indicated that ice is likely to lie beneath the planet's surface. Still, if confirmed, this would be the first direct finding of that ice by a probe on the ground.

oxygen and water
Oxygen and Water

NASA scientists are testing a device that may allow humans to produce their own oxygen on Mars. This hardware, called the Oxygen Generator System, is one of five experiments on a unit known as MIP (Mars In-situ Propellant Production Precursor). Researchers will subject it to both the hottest and coldest temperature extremes found on the planet.

Last year, the device successfully produced oxygen from a gas environment that simulated Mars' extremely thin, mostly carbon dioxide atmosphere. Scientists say the idea is to "live off" Mars' resources. This will cut the amount of material required to accompany any future human mission.

oxygen and water29
Oxygen and Water
  • We also thought we could have a dome that covered ¾ of mars but it would not be floating. We also know that there are ice caps on Mars so that could help get water. To get the water out of the ice cars we could bring it into the dome and have people melt the ice caps down. We could also bring some up ourselves. Also if we get Mars hot enough we could have lakes.
  • For oxygen we could make an oxygen generator that produces oxygen. Also for oxygen we could have a lot of those generators placed around Mars so we would have a lot. We also know that the size of Mars is a lot smaller than the earth so we wouldn’t need as much oxygen as we have on the earth. We can also if we get enough oxygen we could get plants on Mars to maintain the oxygen.
  • And that is our plan!
food and shelter
Food and Shelter

For our project we thought of a lot of ideas for people to go to Mars and have shelter and food.

Here are some of them: for food we will use food robots to water and take care of the plants. We'll use food bags which are bags that come in different categories, so when you shake them in less than 30 seconds you'll have variety of foods. We'll use green houses to keep the plants safe so they die in the coldweather on Mars.

food and shelter32
Food and Shelter

For shelter we'll have house robots to clean the house. Because Mars has no clouds to block the sunlight we could use solar panels to heat the shelters on Mars. The most likely method would be with solar electrical photovoltaic panels. Large solar energy farms would be needed to sustain a settlement. Some of the latest photovoltaic panels are made by depositing thin metal films onto flexible plastic sheets. The sheets can then be rolled into tight tubes. It can generate 15000 watts of electricity. Since the solar panels would only generate electricity when the sun was shining, some battery or fuel cell technology would be needed to store the excess generated during the day, for later use at night. One suggested non-chemical energy storage method would use underground wells to store compressed Martian air. Compressors would pump the carbon dioxide down the well to high pressures during the day. At night, the gas would be diverted to a high speed turbine, that woulddrive a generator to produce electricity.


Culture and the Arts

Our team has come up with many ideas for life on Mars to be made possible. First we will build five huge domes that have oxygen inside. (on next slide) They are also heated by multiple fireplaces burning things. Each dome serves a different purpose. Other things we have created are schools. The children learn Math, Language Arts, Geography of Mars, Science, History, and World Language. Everything they do in school is no different from us. They share the same Religions as us and go to Church. Their government consists of a police department, a fire department, and a hospital. They have a President, but he or she serves a life term.


Culture and the Arts

The less higher positions serve a term until Earth and Mars line up again. Mars government is a free and fair type. People twelve and older elect its officers. We also invented gravity shoes. You can purchase ones that make you float and some that allow you to stay on the ground. Basically they just have vacuum-like objects on the bottom. We also have special heating suits that are very warm. They have unlimited oxygen supply tanks that enable you to breathe. We think our inventions will help contribute to life on Mars.


Culture and the Arts

Other ways to foster culture and the arts on Mars:


The craters on Mars will be used for a lot of things on Mars. (Examples: circus, pool, houses, restaurants, and much more things!)


Inside a crater will be a circus. Surrounding the circus will be an “air bubble” to keep oxygen inside the circus. (Average temp on Mars: -80 degrees Fahrenheit. Average temperature on Mars with the automatic planet heater, A.P.H., 75 degrees Fahrenheit)



Your probably thinking water is hard to get on Mars. So, how will we get water? Simple! Since there is already ice on Mars, we will use the A.P.H. to turn ice into perfectly, pure, healthy, water!


Employment and Community

Community1.  As a community, people would get together and discuss ways to be more comfortable living on Mars. 

2.  People would need to work together to survive on Mars.

3.  On Mars, sticking together as a community would be very important.

4.  People could do fun things on Mars like on Earth.


Employment and Community


1.  Some employment opportunities on Mars would be mining and prospecting.2.  People would explore for water and fuel, which are basic needs to survive on Mars.  3.  On Mars, there is only water in the ice caps. People would have to mine for water. 4. Another job could be transporters, who transport from Mars to Earth to get important things.5.  People would have to do their jobs every day because it could cause death for the whole community without water or fuel.and building a government

6. Making the landscape livable for comfortable living

imagine mars
Imagine Mars
  • Our Mission was a successful one.
  • We worked well together on our teams, and the ideas and suggestions flowed easily.
  • We enjoyed thinking into the future and imagining all the possibilities of how we could survive on Mars.
  • The most important lesson we learned is that we can work well together. We respected each other’s input and worked hard to make our ideas work.

Thank you! Mrs. Marcie SteelOur Lady of Good Counsel SchoolMoorestown, NJ