School Bus to Mars? Engaging students in engineering and science

We have all heard of young ones enjoying their journey on the Magic School Bus, but the magic came to life as part of the STEM curriculum showcased recently at the 2016 USA Science & Engineering Festival in the nation’s capital.

With the help of Lockheed Martin’s Generation Beyond initiative, teachers have new resources to engage students in conversation about careers and study in space exploration, engineering and science. The Mars Experience school bus provides companion curriculum which is part of the Generation Beyond initiative. The Mars Experience school bus is the first immersive virtual reality vehicle ever built and replicates 200 square miles of the Martian surface. Watch the video to learn more about the Generation Beyond Mars Experience and watch the students’ reactions here.

Transportation from Earth to Mars will be by astronauts in a space vehicle. The growth of cities in space is dependent upon transportation as the growth of cities on earth has been and continues to be. A career in engineering or science opens the door for students interested in space transportation and exploration.

Will a student from Maine be on the first space transport to Mars? Perhaps that student who is in school now will be curious about space exploration, choose a career in engineering or science in order to go to Mars and, to borrow a line from Star Trek, go “where no one has gone before.”

Other resources include the University of Maine College of Engineering website at and the Generation Beyond initiative website at