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Year 8 students report on 'Mission to Mars'

Year 8 students report on 'Mission to Mars'
The members of winning team, Japan, and individual winner Ben Tansey.
Year 8 students report on 'Mission to Mars'
Year 8 reporters Isabella Aves, Emily O'Brien and Matthew Haddock.
Year 8 students report on 'Mission to Mars'
Science in action.
Year 8 students report on 'Mission to Mars'
Year 8 students report on 'Mission to Mars'
Students analysed synthetic blood samples.
Wednesday 27th June 2012 by C. Freeman

A group of Year 10 students took part in 'Mission to Mars', a day-long science event. Three Year 8 students, Emily O' Brien, Isabella Aves and Matthew Haddock went along to find out more. Here's their photos and reports:

A selection of 32 Year 10 students participated an ASPIRE science event called ‘Mission to Mars’, where they competed, in groups named after countries, to be the first to land on Mars. The aim was to use their thinking skills, all their science skills and practical skills to achieve their mission. They chose their teams based on their strengths and weaknesses and the groups each had a commander, who was the leader, a chemist, a biologist and 2/3 engineers. They chemist did chemical experiments and saw what they produced. Also, the biologist had to be able to stomach the sight of blood. The engineers had the important job of designing the probe/buggy that would land on Mars and explore the terrain.

The teams were very competitive and had to use teamwork if they wanted to get the job done. Courtney Wilson said ‘Teamwork is essential to get all the tasks they have given us today done and without it I can’t see us finishing it.’ Also, many people added that teamwork was one of the skills they had learnt and used.

There was also a lot of quizzes to test their knowledge. A lot of the students enjoyed this and Alex Huxtable said ‘I liked the quizzes a lot, they were really fun.’ Another student added ‘I have enjoyed doing the quiz with the remote that they gave us, it was something different.’

Matt Hackett, from ASPIRE, said ‘The group today worked to a really high level to the point of individual challenges getting some of the highest points that we have seen all year.'

Overall, everyone was really impressed by the way they worked and Miss Shield said ‘The teams were working fantastically. They have got great team-working skills; they had to communicate with each other and listen to instructions and follow them very carefully.’

In the end, Team Japan won the event led by Commander Lara Parekh-Downes assisted by maths analyst George Robinson and Jack Howley who was the chemist. Thomas Brogden and Courtney Wilson were both engineers while Alex Huxtable was the biologist. They each received medals and sweets.

Overall, everyone was really impressed with the way the students worked, and the day was a great success.

by Emily O’Brien

A group of 32 year 10 students participated in an all day, ASPIRE run, science event yesterday. The event was called ‘Mission to Mars’ and the main objective was to be the first team to get to and inhabit ‘Mars’. They split up into groups of 5/6 and each person was given a job depending on what part of science they were strongest at. Each team had a commander , who was in charge of the team, a chemist, who took charge of the experiments, a biologist, who had to be able to stomach the sight of blood, and two engineers, who had the very important job of making the probe/buggy that would explore Mars before they can land.

The students were competitive but well-behaved as they battled out to be the first ‘country’ to land on Mars. As well as considering how they would survive on Mars they had to think about the money that was available to them. This added challenge proved to be difficult but they all managed it with varying levels of success. Miss Shield who organised the event said ‘The teams are working fantastically. They have got great team-working skills, they have to communicate with each other and listen to instructions and follow them very carefully.

Chemistry, biology and physics were all combined which meant there was something for everyone and everyone enjoyed themselves. Simrang Kang said: ‘I have enjoyed today, it has been a very good experience learning a lot of new things. I quite like designing stuff so I am enjoying that at the minute. I am designing a space craft to land on Mars and we are going to test it with an egg and the aim is that the egg can’t crack.’

Team Japan won, the group was made up of Commander Lara Parekh-Downes, maths analyst George Robinson, the chemist Jack Howley, Thomas Brogden and Courtney Wilson were both engineers while Alex Huxtable was the biologist. They each received medals and sweets as a prize for winning.

All in all the day was successful and a lot of fun for all who were involved. Matt Hackett, who ran the event said, ‘They were superb. It was a lot of fun working with the students here. It is the third time now that we have worked here and it is always a pleasure because they really get involved and their enthusiasm is high and the thing that stood out today was it was a very good competition because they all wanted to win.’

by Isabella Aves

On June 26th Year 10 students took part in an exciting science gifted and talented event that lasted for their whole school day. The main theme was Mars exploration, with teams representing various countries and continents in their attempt to colonise Mars first. Tasks ranged from answering questions about Mars’s atmosphere to Design and Technology tasks where the teams made their own Mars rover and tested whether it could survive on the Martian surface.

The event really required the students to work as a team unit, with each team choosing their members and choosing the roles of each participant, with a Commander, Chemist, Biologist and two Engineers in each nation’s team, Biologists had to have a strong stomach as they’d end up having to deal with (synthetic) blood. Teams had fun in a rapid-fire buzzer quiz about what was possible on Mars, which USA member, Victor Ho said was his 'favourite activity.'

Miss Shields organised the event with help from ASPIRE, a group that specialises in delivering exciting and informative events to schools, Matt asked the quiz questions and helped teams understand their tasks.

The goal of the event was to collect the most points, represented by money for Mars funding, Japan ended up being the victor of the event, but all nations enjoyed it, Simran Kang said 'I found the experiments very interesting,' while Jordan Smith found learning about microchemistry 'really good.' Overall reaction was very positive and many were glad they had participated.

by Matthew Haddock

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