Boeing Prepares Brevard County Sixth Grade Students to Make NASA’s ‘Next Giant Leap’
By Space Coast Daily // March 3, 2019
Boeing donated $120,000 to the Brevard Schools Foundation in 2018
BREVARD COUNTY • VIERA, FLORIDA – Boeing space exploration engineers helped Brevard County sixth graders make NASA’s “next giant leap” during the Destination Mars Innovation Day challenge Thursday, Feb. 28, at the Brevard Public Schools District.
During the event, students presented their out-of-this-world ideas on how to build housing, grow food and design clothes to be able to live on the red planet.
“The sixth grade is such an important time for students because this is when they are deciding who they really want to be,” said Heidi Targee, STEAM integrator and Magnet coordinating teacher at Palm Bay Magnet High School.
“Now is the time to engage them and show them the limitless possibilities.”
Boeing donated $120,000 to the Brevard Schools Foundation in 2018 to expand their week long Destination Space program into the yearlong Destination Mars curriculum.
During Destination Mars Innovation Day, students participated in four challenges, demonstrating their work and findings throughout the year.
The challenges included:
- Designing wearable technologies that would help people live on Mars
- Coding and designing in Minecraft, a block-based building video game, to create a dome-like habitat
- Programming robots and rovers to maneuver and complete tasks on a Martian map
- Creating a pod-like model to help humans live on Mars
Boeing engineers who support the Starliner commercial crew program, Space Launch System and International Space Station judged the competitions.
“The research and work we are completing today is laying the groundwork for an American astronaut to one day travel to Mars,” said Orlando Torres, a Boeing Space Launch System core engineer.
“But these students are the ones who will be making the trip.”
In 2018, The Boeing Company invested $48 million to support organizations focused on developing tomorrow’s innovators. This funding provided 167 grants nationwide to increase STEM diversity, proficiency and interests among K-12 students.
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