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The 2020 4‑H STEM Challenge is a Race to Land Humans on Mars this year!

The race to land humans on Mars is on! The annual 4-H STEM Challenge in connection with Rutgers looks a little different this year but the enthusiasm remains. The 2020 challenge will explore sending a mission to Mars with the activity, Mars Base Camp.

Developed by Google and Virginia Cooperative Extension, Mars Base Camp is a collection of activities that teaches kids ages 8-14 STEM skills like mechanical engineering, physics, computer science, and agriculture.

Rutgers University 4-H is hosting two online components to the STEM challenge this year. The Scientists Panel on Thursday, October 1st is where the public will have a chance to meet with world renowned Space Scientists behind innovative Mars research, NASA collaborators and the scientists who created the Mars Base Camp Challenge. Saturday, October 3rd is when youth, ages 8-14 years, will join an exciting opportunity to explore STEM through an expedition to Mars with the Mars Base Camp Challenge!

Both Mars programs will give the 2020 cohort of STEM Ambassador teens an opportunity to lead and guide their younger peers in completing the challenge. Due to the unprecedented public health crisis surrounding COVID-19, both programs will take place virtually, but registration is required.

“The October 1 Scientists session is for student volunteers, youth participants and their families that will all be involved in the Mars challenge, to have a chance to meet and connect with the scientists behind these amazing discoveries and research, on a personal and professional level. It will also serve to equip the youth with background knowledge to build confidence in order to complete the challenge, and spotlight STEM identity, connection and inclusion. We are thrilled to have these space experts join us. Science is a team effort,” says Alesha Vega, Education & Outreach Coordinator, Department of Marine and Coastal Sciences 4-H Science, Engineering and Technology Program.

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