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Kids learn what it would be like to live on Mars at TSTC

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Posted at 2:17 PM, Dec 15, 2018
and last updated 2018-12-17 10:44:01-05

Texas State Technical College Challenger Learning Center celebrates NASA's 60th anniversary with the Journey to Mars event. 

Kids have the opportunity to learn in hands-on activities that will include building a straw rocket, creating Mars habitat using 3D printed pens, learning about the power of gravity and more. 

Even though the day was filled with learning new things, TSTC hopes to bring the importance of STEM to a child's day to day life and maybe find a new passion in along the way. 

It was a step by step process starting with budgeting and trying to figure out how much money they need to go to Mars and create a habitable environment. 

The kids learned how fragile everything would be, including themselves, if living on Mars. A soft punch could hurt someone in the zero-gravity world. 

Every kid that came through was all hands on deck as every step was interactive, something that is critical when teaching STEM. 

"We really have to be hands on to get kids to know that all the stuff their learning in school is leading someplace," Jeremy Hagman, Challenger Learning Center Coordinator said. 

"What they're [TSTC] doing here is great," Kelly Filgo, Mission to Mars participant said. "These kids at this age need to touch it they need to do it not just talk about it. 

Filgo brought his 6-year-old son to the event, knowing he wants to grow up to build rocket cars this event was perfect for him.

"You see all sorts of different reactions from kids, even a 2-year-old was kicking around a planet earlier," Hagman said. 

Hagman works hard at TSTC hoping to get kids excited for the future of science. 

"To get kids excited about science in general," Hagman said. "That they really see there are lots of different things that go into being a scientist." 

Proving no job is too small to get the work done. 

"An astronaut has tens of thousands of people down on the ground, from lots of different jobs to keep them alive, from the janitorial staff all the way up to the engineers," Hagman said. 

The day of activities is a preview of the new interactive experience "Mission to Mars" Challenger Learning Center will debut next year. 

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