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Science Center opens Mars exhibition

 

Last updated 11/22/2022 at 6:37pm

Becky Thurner

Carnegie Science Center has unveiled Mars: The Next Giant Leap, the most ambitious new experience built since the museum's inception in 1991.

The exhibition opened on Sat., Nov. 19. Mars is a permanent exhibition gallery and is included with general admission to the Science Center. With lead support by Howmet Aerospace Foundation and the PNC Foundation, the 7,400 square-foot exhibition explores how the issues of sustainability, climate change, social justice, and equitable access to resources can shape humanity's future on Mars and on Earth.

"Guidance from local students helped us realize that what makes space exploration relevant to our community is ultimately the same set of issues as those we face on Earth today," said Jason Brown, Henry Buhl, Jr., director of Carnegie Science Center. "As you walk through the exhibition, you will be challenged to ask questions about what makes a community thrive, how our lives are shaped by our environments, and how exploring Mars will impact life on Earth."

There are seven experiential zones that demonstrate elements of inhabiting and maintaining a habitable climate on Mars. Guests will experience the following:

• Learn how our understanding of Mars has solidified over time through Sci-Fi and pop culture as well as real-life exploration in View from Mars.

• Uncover how climates produce the conditions for life to arise or perish by trying scenarios set to affect both Mars and Earth in Climatology.

• Discover potential methods of growing food on Mars and how we might use these same methods to feed ourselves, ethically and sustainably, on Earth in Martian Garden.

• Imagine what daily life on Mars might be like by exploring the living space of a future Martian resident in Martian Living.

• See guests' input on a Martian settlement come to life with physical and digital building models constructed regularly in Dream Big: Space.

• Learn about the formative space exploration ecosystem in Pittsburgh, how Pittsburgh companies are contributing to future research, and about local space career opportunities in Pittsburgh in Mars.

• Control a Martian rover, similar to ones on Mars' surface, to seek out various signs of life and water in Search for Life.

Mars: The Next Giant Leap, a $4.44 million project, will complement Buhl Planetarium and the Science Center's vast array of STEM programming that targets career readiness.

"Above all, this exhibition demonstrates that space can be accessible to anyone who wants it. It takes more than rocket scientists to explore other planets. It takes artists and welders, marketers, and accountants. There is room for everyone," Mr. Brown added.

The Science Center's pathways and programs connected to Mars: The Next Giant Leap will allow new audiences of young people to see themselves as activists, artists, makers, inventors, healers, and thoughtful connectors in the science, technology, engineering, and mathematics fields. With the successful launch of Artemis I on Nov. 16, more opportunities will arise as NASA is closer to sending the first astronauts to Mars.

For more information, visit carnegiesciencecenter.org/exhibits/mars.

 

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