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Living on Mars

Moravia Middle School science teacher Megan Newhouse is hoping to get her seventh-grade students to work, think and act like scientists.


Newhouse’s class is learning about living on Mars, with the goal of the project being to find ways humans could survive on the planet. Several student-groups are focusing on growing food through either hydroponics or aquaponics (hydroponics with fish in the water), while others are focusing on topics such as rovers, energy production, and life support systems.


For example, one group is hoping to show how the carbon and oxygen cycle would work on Mars. The plan is to create an emergency carbon dioxide venting system that will flush excess carbon dioxide from the living spaces if it gets too high.


Members of the group said a fun part of the project has not only been learning about Mars but also everything else they have been able to or could possibly learn along the way.


“We talked about meeting up with some people from BOCES to learn about electrical engineering. And it is just cool to learn new things while working on a different project,” said student Vivian Amos.


For the final projects, Newhouse has experts lined up to help judge, some of them being individuals the students have already met along the way. She says bringing in outside experts is something that helps make the project work. 


“So, it’s not just that these kids are presenting for teachers and peers, they actually have experts from the outside in to judge,” said Newhouse.


Students will go on to present their final projects on February 13.