Life on Mars: making it possible

Fifteen Year 8 boys worked with girls from an independent school to design a shelter capable of sustaining life on Mars.

The Science Fair, held at St Albans High School for Girls, was the latest collaboration between QE and girls’ schools – although, unlike most other such collaborations, this involved younger boys.

Organiser Sarah Westcott, Head of Lower School Science, said: “This collaboration with St Albans enabled our students to develop key problem-solving as well as team-working skills. It was also a good opportunity for them to meet and work with female students of the same age group and share ideas about the difficulties of interplanetary survival.”

""Working in mixed teams of three, pupils spent the first part of the day in a design-and-build session, with testing of the shelters occurring later in the afternoon. The shelters were tested to withstand structural damage and to see how well they would protect inhabitants from UV light.

Boys were also treated to a session in an inflatable planetarium and saw a presentation about how life on Mars might unfold.