Year 9 Target Mars Trip! 2/03/20
On Monday 24th February, nine students from Parkside Studio College represented the College in the Target Mars competition. The students were split into two teams, representing rival nations that have active space programs – China and Russia. Both teams were required to assign each of their team members either the role of a commander, a biologist, a geochemist, a medic or an analyst, before competing in three carefully structured activities, including a science experiment, an engineering task and a problem-solving challenge.
In the first activity, students competed in setting up an apparatus to test a chemical sample from Mars in order to determine the element in the sample. In the second activity, students had to track the spread of the Ebola disease on Mars using an enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA). In the final activity, students used fake blood to determine the blood type of the individual who was infected from the Ebola activity so as to prevent agglutination in the patient who will require a transfusion. The key skills attained from the activities were the application of numbers, teamwork, critical thinking, problem solving and analysing data.
Points were allocated for agility in setting up and using the apparatus appropriately, conducting experiments carefully and precise predictions. The Chinese team came fourth with 162,000 points, whilst the Russian Team came third with 164,000 points.