The goals of this course are to develop an appreciation for the excitement and rigor of exploration of another planet and to understand the complex interplay of dreams, expectations and realities in planning and executing missions to locations 100 million miles away. What questions drive scientific exploration, what are the engineering and fiscal realities, and what is required for planning future exploration? Why do we explore? What role does exploration play in our human and cultural settings? Where should we go from here?
Specific goals of the course
- Participate first-hand in the exploration of Mars and the daily discoveries!
- Learn how to be the first in your unit to make a discovery on another planet!
- Learn how we got from Kitty Hawk to Sputnik in ~54 years and from Sputnik to roaming the surface of Mars in ~47 years.
- Participate in formulating a plan for where we want to be in 2050.
-Develop or hone a sense of inquiry, inquisitiveness: Keep asking "Why?"
-Develop critical thinking and intellectual discipline.
-Develop verbal and written skills and abilities.
-Develop listening and learning skills.
-Develop an understanding of human resources: respect and learn from the knowledge and experience of others.
-Understand "teamwork": the concept, complexities, pitfalls and rewards.
The Broader Perspective
-Understand the role of exploration in human culture: Why do we explore?
-Understand what motivates scientists: Science as exploration of the unknown.
-Learn how a major branch of science fits into the "scientific enterprise" and why it is important.
-Understand the role of national goals and objectives in science.
-Understand the role of politics in science.
-Help design a plan to set the stage for your children.
-Get to know a "scientist" personally.