May 3, 2016: Mars Habitat Design Challenge

If you built a home on Mars, what would it look like? How could you make it homey while also providing protection from the cold and harsh environment of Mars? These are the questions artist and educator Corinne Okada Takara asked of mothers and daughters in this design thinking challenge.

The first step was to learn more about the extreme conditions on Mars. On this desert planet, water is locked up in polar ice caps, severe dust storms are common, average temperature is -51 °F and there is little protection from solar and galactic radiation. The teams talked about what they’d most miss about life on Earth and then shared their lists. How might they bring some of these elements into their habitat designs?


Drawing inspiration from their wish lists and from  NASA’s 3-D printed habitat challenge, moms and daughters used LED lights, pager motors, clay, batteries, pipe cleaners and an array of recycled materials to create their own habitats for off world living.

Integrating art supplies with battery powered lights and motors, the teams created prototypes of water filtration and ventilation systems, indoor gardens, and even a library!

The girls gathered at the end of the session to share their ideas, show off their prototypes, and pull them together into a single space colony.

habitat colony





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