March 1, 2021
It’s not often that school students get to talk to a Mars One mission astronaut, assess the quality of local waterways and study examples of rainforests all in the one week.
Year 12 biology students from St Mary’s Catholic College in Kingaroy travelled to the Bunya Mountains to study undisturbed and disturbed sections of the Bunya Mountains forest.
They also visited three sites along the Stuart River to assess water quality.
Year 10 students who are studying space were able to participate in an online presentation by Dianne McGrath, from the Mars One project.
Dianne is one of seven Round 3 short-listed astronaut candidates from Australia who are left in the Mars One program which aims to send the first humans to Mars in 2031.
She was speaking to the topic of “What is at the edge of possible” and talked at length about what it would take to live sustainably on Mars.
St Mary’s teacher Joanna Dunn said the excursions and special online events were a valuable way to support classroom learning.
“They provide students with a meaningful real-life connection and a reason to study science,” she said.
“Listening to people like Dianne McGrath speak ensures that students see that science and technology is right behind significant human achievements like the landing on Mars last week and imagining what might happen next.”