Space Foundation News

Shades of Blue Students Learn Robotics at the Space Foundation Mars Yard

Written by: developer

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. (Aug. 4, 2011) -- The Mars Yard at the Space Foundation Discovery Institute in Colorado Springs is getting plenty of use this summer, most recently this week when young student members of Shades of Blue visited. The Space Foundation provided an afternoon of robotics and rocketry for the students, who ranged in age from 7 to 18, with the goal of accelerating their interest in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM). The Colorado-based Shades of Blue is a non-profit educational organization designed to help identify and prepare students for careers in aviation and aerospace. See more photos of the visit here.

The Space Foundation opened the Mars Yard this past spring and it has been used since then by students at the adjacent Jack Swigert Aerospace Academy and by teachers from across the country who traveled to Colorado Springs this summer to attend Space Foundation Space Across the Curriculum courses.

Work on the Mars Yard began in 2010 with the donation of the "Honeywell Mars Robotic Experience," providing robots for the simulated Martian terrain mission laboratory. Donated time and equipment was provided by:

  • Mike DeGrant of Lowell Development Partners
  • Robert Elliott of Robertson's Landscaping
  • Bill Johansen of C & C Sand and Stone Co.
  • Bud Bandfield of BudCo Electric
  • Colorado Lighthouse

The Mars Yard, along with Space Foundation education programs, are critical to the Space Foundation's mission to build a better, stronger workforce for the future to support space exploration and utilization. The Space Foundation Discovery Institute, which opened in 2009, provides space-themed professional development and support for teachers and students from around the world. It serves as the base location for the Space Foundation's education programs and houses classrooms, a conference center, an Educator Resource Center, the AGI Space Missions Simulator and now a Mars Yard.

Pictured: Shades of Blue Students learn robotics in the Mars Yard at the Space Foundation Discovery Institute in Colorado Springs.