Facebook Campaign Connects Students To Mars

By Justin Lafferty 

Although most of us probably won’t step foot on Mars, one Facebook campaign is utilizing the red planet and the social network to get kids excited about science, technology, engineering, and math. Through Raytheon Company’s Mission to Mars, students can explore the planet virtually and interact with Facebook to earn grants.

The campaign includes a Clear 4 Takeoff Facebook game, where users can put themselves in the driver’s seat of a rover launching on a mission to Mars. Students have to navigate the final frontier, clearing “space junk,” before they can land on the red planet. The game teaches kids about the threat of space debris and how it affects space systems.

Students can also interact with the MathMovesU Facebook page, which posts questions daily, asking students which subjects get them the most excited and which subjects are the most difficult. Students can connect with others, talking about the difficulty of returning to the classroom and navigating coursework.

The big draw comes with Raytheon’s Mars Hero grants of up to $5,000. Students must create a 60-second video demonstrating a scientific principle behind space exploration using Sir Isaac Newton’s friend, the apple. Submissions must be received by Friday, Sept. 28, at noon ET. A total of 10 semifinalists will be selected based on creativity and effectiveness of the lessons, and their videos will be shared on the MathMovesU Facebook page, where users can vote for their favorite.

Pamela Erickson, Raytheon’s vice president of community relations, discussed the campaign in a press release:

Applications from the real world – and worlds beyond – can drive student curiosity about STEM (science, technology, engineering, and math). Raytheon understands the critical need to nurture an interest in STEM by inspiring today’s students where they live, learn, and play.

Readers: Do you think this is a cool way to get students interested in these core subjects?

 Image courtesy of Shutterstock.