Interactive adventures have become one of the most popular activities for entertainment these days. From roleplaying games to escape rooms to immersive theater, people are becoming more and more drawn to experiences that put them right in the middle of the action. It’s the immersive element of interactive adventures like these that was the inspiration for Sue’s Tech Kitchen Mission To Mars: A STEM Adventure.
STEM is the future. Our world is making rapid technological advancements on every front, and our children will be the ones to work in those fields and further those advancements. They’ll need all the knowledge in STEM that they can get to be competitive in these fields, and getting that knowledge starts at an early age.
Mission to Mars: A STEM Adventure at Sue’s Tech Kitchen
The Mission to Mars interactive, story-driven STEM adventure is the brainchild of Randi Zuckerberg, a tech entrepreneur, bestselling author, and creator of the wildly popular children’s series, Dot. Developed by Zuckerberg Media, a subsidiary of Sue’s Tech Kitchen, Mission to Mars: A STEM Adventure is a week-long interactive, story-driven adventure that teaches different skills from the entire range of STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math). My family and I went to Sue’s Tech Kitchen back in 2017 on Randall’s Island, and we absolutely loved it, so I can only imagine what this week-long experience will be like!
What I love about this program is that it makes learning fun and a real adventure. Kids don’t want to sit in classrooms and stare at a board, and they especially don’t want to do that when they’re out of school. Let’s be honest, it’s completely boring. Mission to Mars takes that boredom and throws it right out the window. Rather than boring lectures, kids are treated to a weeklong, half-day workshop that weaves an interactive adventure narrative into their integrated STEM curriculum. This curriculum focuses on the broad skill set that will be essential to our kids as the set out into their careers in the future.
Children learn STEM, and they learn to work together – an equally important skill. Throughout these interactive adventures, children work as a team to solve puzzles, unravel mysteries, and complete missions, all why learning the basics of coding, machine learning, environmental science, and engineering. It’s all very exciting.
Speaking of exciting, one of the highlights of the camp is a tabletop Mars Rover Mission Control game that was actually designed in conjunction with Dr. Sam Pfister, who served on the Surface Operations team for NASA’s Mars Exploration Rover mission. In addition, the children will have other “future tech” to work with such as color-changing UV-detection wearables, AI weather prediction tools, and fun “snacktivities” such as 3D-Printed Squad Badge Cookies commemorating each child’s participation and contribution to the mission.
I can’t let you leave without giving you a full rundown of what the kids will be doing on these interactive adventure days, all of which form one giant “mission”. Here is the curriculum directly from Sue’s Tech Kitchen website.
Mission to Mars: A Stem Adventure
Day One: Coding
- A mysterious recorded message from Sue enlists participants in a daring mission to Mars for urgent but unknown reasons.
- Active computational thinking challenges will get students up and out of their seats to teach them the basics of writing the code that controls Mars Rovers.
- Squads of students will complete their first missions on the surface of Mars using a custom Mars Rover Mission Control tabletop game designed by a former NASA scientist specifically for this camp.
- Students learn about binary code, the fundamental language of all computing, by constructing and enjoying edible 8-bit Binary Bytes snacks.
Day Two: Environmental Science
- After arriving on day two to discover that their equipment is not working properly, the crew must learn about the Martian atmosphere to unravel the mystery behind these malfunctions.
- Students will design and create their own wearable UV-radiation detection devices and use them to test how best to protect against the damaging effects of Martian radiation.
- Squads will return to Rover Mission Control to use their Rovers to repair and protect their equipment against the harsh Martian weather conditions.
- Martian Dust Pies are a delicious treat to reinforce the day’s lessons about the Martian environment.
Day Three: Machine Learning
- An unexpected planet-wide dust storm hampers the crew’s planned landing on Mars.
- Students learn about the principles of machine learning to train an AI weather prediction tool to allow them to successfully navigate the extreme weather.
- Squads customize and upgrade their Rovers as they expand their search of Mars in preparation for landing.
- Students enjoy S’Mars snacks as they prepare for their first night of camping on Mars.
Day Four: Engineering
- Now that they’re on the surface of Mars, the crew must build out their Martian campsites.
- During a Mars Survival Engineering Lab, students learn about the essential elements of human survival on Mars and each design their own campsite plans.
- Squads work together to build their unique campsites with help from their Rovers.
- A MarshMolecules snacktivity allows students to “taste” the molecular chemistry behind NASA’s latest research on creating oxygen on Mars.
Day Five: Ethical Innovation
- As our crew reaches its final destination to uncover the mystery behind their mission, they make an incredible discovery!
- In light of their findings, squads engage in a friendly guided debate to determine the best course of action that balances practical circumstances with ethical implications.
- The entire crew collaborates in a final interactive storytelling challenge that allows every class to forge their own epic conclusion to the adventure.
- 3D Food Printers create custom Edible Squad Badge Cookies to commemorate each crewmember’s contribution to the mission!
Mission to Mars: A STEM Adventure is a week filled with fun and engaging interactive adventures, all of which help give kids a solid foundation in STEM, and that is so important. I highly encourage all parents of children who are even remotely interested in STEM to sign their children up for this weeklong collection of interactive adventures. Through these missions, children learn so much about STEM, teamwork, and how much fun learning can be.
If your kids love STEM activities, check out the Hologram You Hold in Your Hand.
I’m soo excited to offer you guys a BIG discount for early sign-ups. Use offer code STROLLERMARS when purchasing tickets to save 25%! This 25% discount offer expires June 30, so don’t wait.