Local students taking a trip to Mars at Fresno State space camp

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Kids are on a journey this summer to build and code robots, then create and edit their own videos as they document their simulated mission to Mars. (KFSN)

NASA has a goal to send humans to Mars by the 2030's, but before that day comes some local elementary school students are using the summer to explore the challenges of what life is like on the red planet. That is thanks to a Youth Aerospace Academy on campus at Fresno State.

"I think where we are with technology; I think it's very necessary to have kids learn skills with technology, engineering, and math. They use it every day already they just don't know it," said Kasey Vang, Fresno State Project Coordinator.

Kids are on a journey this summer to build and code robots, then create and edit their own videos as they document their simulated mission to Mars. But what seems to really grab the students' attention is discovering how chemicals react to each other.

One chemistry project is supposed to show kids how it's possible for life on the red planet-- it also helps that it is really cool looking.

"It's fascinating watching something explode-- it's eye catching," said Jack Biondo, 6th grader.

NASA has funded much of the Fresno State Aerospace Program that allows the kids to problem solve with hands-on activities, while giving them a real life experience of being an astronaut.

"Science is pretty fun once you put it in a context where they can try something with their hands rather than something they could just read about it in a book-- it's a lot more fun for them to try it out," said Zaira Rivera, undergrad teacher.

The classes are broken up into two 90-minute sessions each day at the education building at Fresno State with a $25 cost per student.

Related Topics:
educationfresno statespacefresnoFresno - NortheastFresno State
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