On Friday 28 October, all Year 7 students and the Year 8 Astro Science classes gathered in the IWA to hear from a special guest speaker. Dr Adrian Brown (brother of Carey English teacher Sarah Cassidy) works as a scientist for NASA and talked to us about his work on the latest Mars exploration mission.
Dr Brown, originally an electrical engineer, went on to study Astrobiology and then to work at NASA, specifically looking at the evidence that there was once water on Mars. Part of Dr Brown’s work involved flying a small aircraft over the Pilbara region in WA, similar to the way the Mars Ingenuity Helicopter flies over the surface of Mars. He was able to gather data about the 3.5-billion-year-old rocks from the Pilbara, as they are the closest analogue to Mars rocks that we have here on Earth.
Dr Brown showed videos of the launch of the Mars 2020 mission and talked about why different parts of the Perseverance Rover and the Ingenuity Helicopter were designed in certain ways to best achieve their mission. The presentation tied in perfectly with the Space Mission Design Task that all Year 7 students have been working on in their Science classes. The students were completely absorbed in the presentation and had so many questions at the end that we didn’t have enough time for all of them. Quite a few students even stayed back at recess to ask their questions.