for Educators

Light Up the Martian City: Alternative Energy Challenge

Grades 2-8 | Become part of an elite team of astronauts as you construct an energy grid for the first human settlement on Mars.

  • Museum & Science Center, Virtual
  • Engineering Design Lab, Virtual Experiences
  • 2nd Grade, 3rd Grade, 4th Grade, 5th Grade, 6th Grade, 7th Grade, 8th Grade
  • Engineering & Design, Physical Sciences, Earth Science, Space Science

Inventor Center (Engineering Design Lab) OR Virtual Experience

Become part of an elite team of astronauts as you construct an energy grid for the first human settlement on Mars. Learn about a wide range of renewable energy technologies and evaluate their potential for interplanetary use. Build a functioning windmill and measure its output to supercharge the success of your Martian base! 

For digital programs, our educators will work with your classroom to determine which platform works best to facilitate this experience.

In-person capacity may be limited in compliance with public health guidelines in effect on the day of your visit.

NYS Standards:
  • K-2-ETS1-1.Ask questions, make observations, and gather information about a situation people want to change to define a simple problem that can be solved through the development of a new or improved object or tool.
  • K-2-ETS1-2. Develop a simple sketch, drawing, or physical model to illustrate how the shape of an object helps it function as needed to solve a given problem.
  • K-2-ETS1-3. Analyze data from tests of two objects designed to solve the same problem to compare the strengths and weaknesses of how each performs.
  • 3-5-ETS1-1. Define a simple design problem reflecting a need or a want that includes specified criteria for success and constraints on materials, time, or cost.
  • 3-5-ETS1-2. Generate and compare multiple possible solutions to a problem based on how well each is likely to meet the criteria and constraints of the problem.
  • 3-5-ETS1-3. Plan and carry out fair tests in which variables are controlled and failure points are considered to identify aspects of a model or prototype that can be improved.
  • 4-PS3-2. Make observations to provide evidence that energy is conserved as it is transferred and/or converted from one form to another.
  • 4-PS3-4. Apply scientific ideas to design, test, and refine a device that converts energy from one form to another.
  • 4-ESS3-1. Obtain and combine information to describe that energy and fuels are derived from natural resources and their uses affect the environment.
  • MS-PS3-5. Construct, use, and present an argument to support the claim that when work is done on or by a system, the energy of the system changes as energy is transferred to or from the system.
  • MS-ETS1-1. Define the criteria and constraints of a design problem with sufficient precision to ensure a successful solution, taking into account relevant scientific principles and potential impacts on people and the natural environment that may limit possible solutions.
  • MS-ETS1-2. Evaluate competing design solutions using a systematic process to determine how well they meet the criteria and constraints of the problem.
  • MS-ETS1-3. Analyze data from tests to determine similarities and differences among several design solutions to identify the best characteristics of each that can be combined into a new solution to better meet the criteria for success.
  • MS-ETS1-4. Develop a model to generate data for iterative testing and modification of a proposed object, tool, or process such that an optimal design can be achieved.
  • HS-PS3-3. Design, build, and refine a device that works within given constraints to convert one form of energy into another form of energy.

How To Book

  • Call: 585.697.1942

  • Reservation Lead Time: At least 3 weeks

Need More Information?

  • Contact: Guest Services
  • Phone: 585.697.1942


When Is It?

  • Days Available: Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday
  • Start Date: 09/07/2022
  • End Date: 06/22/2023
  • Note: In-person program is only offered from 9/20/21 – 1/3/22
  • Program Length: 50 min. minimum; 90 min. recommended
  • Earliest Start Time: 10am

Who Should Attend?

  • Grades: 2nd Grade, 3rd Grade, 4th Grade, 5th Grade, 6th Grade, 7th Grade, 8th Grade
  • Minimum Attendance: 8
  • Maximum Attendance: 30

How Much Does It Cost?

  • In-Person: $10 per person; PLUS: $5 Additional per person program charge; 1 free adult with every 5 students; RMSC Member Adults free

    In-Person Lunch Fee: $30 per classroom needed, students required to bring bag lunch or pre-purchase café lunches at $7/
  • Minimum Student Charge: 15 students for in-person program