Pathways to Space: Creating the Mars Yard

2010-2013: Pathways to Space, funded to just under $1m by the Australian Space Research Program run by the Australian Government’s Space Co-Ordination Office.

Partners:  Led by ACA at UNSW in partnership with Powerhouse Museum, Sydney; Australian Centre for Field Robotics, University of Sydney; and Cisco.

Pathways to Space established a world-class resource, the Mars Yard and adjacent space robotics research lab at the Powerhouse Museum.

Objective: To encourage high schools students to consider space-related courses and careers. 26% of students for whom we had both pre and post surveys said the Mars Yard experience had encouraged them to consider space related courses and careers.

Associated key paper:  Fergusson, J., Oliver, C.A.. and Walter, M.R. (2012) Astrobiology outreach and the nature of science: The role of creativity, Astrobiology, 12:12 (1143-1153).

Associated PhD thesis: Engaging students in the nature and practice of science, Jennifer Fergusson, UNSW, (2013)


Below: Students on the Mars Yard with the Experimental Mars Rover Mawson and the student rover used in Pathways to Space, Snickers.