The thematic summer camp "Mission to Mars" was organised by SciCo, in collaboration with the Palladio schools, with the intention to offer a unique learning experience to children aged 4-12. The training program combines STEM and robotics with the arts and sports, it is based on the principles of enquiry-based education and group collaboration and aims to empower students and sharpen skills such as problem-solving, which has always been a basic component of the STEM educational approach.
The participants adopted the scientific way of thinking and they used new technologies to design a mission to the Red Planet. They conducted a research on past missions, as well as on the specific nature of the project, they designed their own rocket and carried out trial launches. They used a 3D printer to build a Mars Rover, an automated motor vehicle which explored the surface of Mars. They devised a hydraulic extraction and rock collecting system and explored the magnetic field of the planet. Last but not least, they built a water filtration system, a safe landing system and wireless communication with the Earth.
All of the activities tailored to the different age groups of the participants and used robotics and programming, arts and crafts, as well as team games such as the treasure hunt and the spacebase supply relay race, thus combining science with creativity and sports. The camp's educational program was complemented by a special event of sky observation through telescopes, where the children and their parents observed planets, nebulae and other astronomical objects.
The "Mission to Mars" summer camp took place between 18-29 June 2018 and was organised for the children of Vodafone employees. The organisation and the educational program were implemented by SciCo and the Palladio schools. All activities took place in the facilities of the Palladio schools in Vari.