On March 22nd, SMV 8th graders led the “Mission to Mars” in the school gym, part of an interactive program featuring SMV’s ShareSpace Mars Map. SMV was chosen by Buzz Aldrin’s ShareSpace Foundation to receive the giant map after Jr. High Science Teacher, Kathy Biernat, was one of 50 educators across the US selected from a competitive application. The map, 25 x 25 feet, is an interactive, engaging educational tool designed to ignite students’ interest in science, technology, engineering,and math. In addition to being tour guides, the 8th graders also led students through several other learning stations as part of their Astronomy unit. These stations included learning about the rovers on Mars with a display of model rovers built by the 8th graders. There were also stations with facts about Mars from the 1st graders, looking at robot pictures from the second graders, launchers from the 4th graders and landers from the 5th graders. Additionally, the students used virtual reality goggles to see what the surface of Mars is like, put on some tatoos, tried out the photo booth and colored some pictures. It was out of this world!