Brevard Schools Foundation Receives $110,000 Grant from Boeing to Fund ‘Destination Mars’ Challenge
By Space Coast Daily // March 31, 2023
projects designed to develop problem-solving skills, simulation-based inquiry and collaboration
BREVARD COUNTY, FLORIDA – Brevard Schools Foundation received a $110,000 grant from The Boeing Company providing funding for student opportunities to engage in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics Design Challenges, participate in experiential study trips, and for STEM industry workforce volunteers to participate in the programs in meaningful ways.
The Destination Mars design challenge, a culmination of year-long efforts put forth by elementary students, will take place from March 9 through March 29 with 35 teams, representing 25 schools, competing in four mission areas.
The Destination Mars Event is in its fifth year and includes displays, device performances, coding experiences, and judging. The event’s goal is to cultivate tomorrow’s innovators by engaging students in science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) challenges.
The projects are designed to develop real-world problem-solving skills, simulation-based inquiry, and collaboration.
Teams were presented with four standards-aligned STEM challenges that were planned and executed in class and in after-school STEM clubs.
During the Destination Mars Event, the teams will have an opportunity to present their solutions to judging panels comprised of professionals from The Boeing Company, Brevard County Public Schools, and other organizations.
Student teams selected one of the following challenges:
■ Mission Base Camp: Students identified one of the challenges that humans might face living or working on Mars and then designed a pod for their base camp that would address the challenge they identified.
■ Mission iWear: Teams designed a wearable device that would assist a member of their mission or another organism with maintaining homeostasis on Mars. The wearables included an AdaFruit Circuit Playground which was coded by the students using MakeCode block coding.
■ Mission Robotic Rover Spike Prime: Teams used block programming to program their rover (the LEGO Spike Prime) to complete missions on Mars.
■ Mission Bio-Dome: Teams used Minecraft: Education Edition to design and build a Martian Bio-Dome that would allow members of the mission to maintain homeostasis on Mars.
■ Mission Reporter: The student documented the progress of each mission and compiled a video to show the team’s journey.
The grant from The Boeing Company also provides funding for Destination Space, an experiential field program at Kennedy Space Center for all 6th-grade students (5,000+) in Brevard Public Schools this school year.
The grant continues to support the Girls in STEM initiative started in 2021-2022, a Saturday hands-on program at now nine Title 1 school, that encouraged the participation of female minorities and helped to increase the number of participating teams.
“The Boeing Company is excited to sponsor the Destination Mars design challenge and Destination Space program again this year,” said Ingrid Morales, Boeing Global Engagement Florida Community Investor.
“Both programs help develop the STEM pipeline by preparing students to be career-ready, improving how they learn, and teaching them the skills needed to be adaptable – to both acquire knowledge throughout their life and to apply it successfully, especially through STEM-related, hands-on, inquiry-based experiences.”
“STEM education develops students as innovators and problem solvers,” said Janice Kershaw, President/CEO of Brevard Schools Foundation.
“The partnership with The Boeing Company helps students gain firsthand experience in STEM learning, such as sorting through data, testing hypotheses, and presenting solutions.”
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