'Journey to Mars' to be part of virtual STEM Festival

Mineral Daily News-Tribune
"Journey to Mars" will be one of the presentations at the Mineral County STEM Festival this year.

KEYSER - What does the Mars Perseverance Rover landing mean for us? The West Virginia Science Public Outreach Team (SPOT), a program developed by NASA WV Space Grant Consortium and Green Bank Observatory, is inviting everyone to celebrate the history of Mars and the future of Mars missions during the annual Mineral County STEM Festival.  

On Saturday, March 13, at 1 p.m., undergraduate SPOT Ambassadors Sarah Long, Madison Sites, and Gabriel Abreu-Vigil will be presenting “Journey to Mars.”

This show combines videos, questions, and slides to tell the exciting story of the planet that has driven humanity’s curiosity to reach further than ever before. “Students and adult-learners alike love our Journey to Mars presentation,” says Sophie de Saint Georges, coordinator with West Virginia Science Outreach Team (WV SPOT). “The content is both fun and accessible for all ages.”

Participants will be able to discover lessons learned and successful missions that paved the way for the recent NASA Mars 2020 Perseverance Rover and Mars' first helicopter, Ingenuity; to find out the unique and critical ways West Virginia scientists and engineers help get these missions off the ground, through the vacuum of space, and safely onto the Martian surface.

What are these instruments looking for? What have we discovered so far? Why is Mars red? What extreme sports could we do on Mars? When will humans land on Mars? Find out the answer to these and so much more during this exploration of engineering marvels.

WV SPOT began in 2013, as the the Space Public Outreach Team developed by two leading space-research facilities, NASA and Green Bank Observatory. It has since grown to include sponsors like Dow Chemical Co., MATRIC (a research and development facility in Charleston, WV) and West Virginia University (WVU). Renamed the Science Public Outreach Team due to this growth and additional presentation topics, the program has delivered over 800 presentations to more than 25,000 K-12 students since its start.

Register for this FREE session and more at www.mineralstem.com. A Zoom link will be sent out a week before the Virtual Mineral County STEM Festival event. Other programs include: Chemistry, Natural Sciences, Engineering, Wildlife and “Ask a Paleontologist.”

Sponsors for the Mineral County STEM Festival event include: Northrop Grumman, UPMC Western Maryland, and WVU Potomac Valley Hospital.

For regular updates on the STEM Festival like our Facebook page https://www.facebook.com/MineralCountySTEM. If you have questions call the WVU Mineral County Extension Office at 304-788-3621.