What a challenge

St. Mary’s students work on their mission at The Challenger Learning Center in Hammond.

Provided

Earlier this month two crews of seventh- and eighth-graders from St. Mary Catholic Community School in Crown Point completed a mission to Mars at the Challenger Learning Center at Purdue Northwest thanks to a grant from ArcelorMittal.

The students were transported to the year 2076 and worked together to cultivate life on the red planet. Students worked in mission control and on a Mars transport vehicle. The students built a remotely operated vehicle that would help them map out the landscape and find water. The students dealt with several life-threatening emergencies. St. Mary’s students were able to repair the greenhouse to ensure sustainability, problem-solve emergencies on the MTV, and learn about life on Mars.

As inconceivable as a colony on Mars sounds, just four days later, billionaire Elon Musk launched the Falcon Heavy Rocket. This test launch of the most powerful rocket in human history, may ultimately lead to St. Mary’s students or their children stepping foot on the red planet someday. The students were privileged to meet a staff member who worked on the SpaceX project.

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