In August, a rover named Curiosity touched down inside Mars’ Gale Crater, carrying 10 new instruments that will advance the quest for signs that Mars might once have been suitable for life. But Curiosity’s mission is risky. After parachuting through the Martian atmosphere at twice the speed of sound, Curiosity was gently lowered to the planet’s surface by a “sky crane.” This first-of-its-kind system has been tested on Earth, but there was no guarantee it would work on Mars.
Want to let off a little STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Art and Math) this holiday season? Then grab your family, add a few supplies and try out these fun activities! Over the next several weeks, Science Matters will feature hands-on projects that will keep kids of all ages engaged in a bit of science. Let us know which projects are your favorites and post photos of your fab results on Science Matters' Facebook page.
December marks the beginning of competition in this year’s FIRST Tech Challenge, with qualifying matches scheduled across Virginia in the coming weeks. More than 140 teams statewide now participate in the fast-growing FTC robotics program.
For a long time humanity has relied on technology to help us understand more about the natural world. For example, we can look up at the moon all we want, but without technology we would never see the detailed ridges on its surface or know what its dust is like. Observations and collecting data are just two of the many ways that technology can play a role in celestial happenings.