Albert’s Design for Mars Base Wins State Competition
Eight-year-old Albert Smith (5AL) has won the junior primary section of the Mars Society Australia ‘Design a Mars Base’ competition. Judges of the competition, which was held during the recent Australian Mars Exploration Conference at UWA, described Albert’s submission as “very innovative”.
The international conference brought together scientists and engineers from NASA, Australia, Russia and Europe to discuss the latest findings in planetary science and upcoming Mars missions. The competition, run by Mars Society Australia, aimed to involve primary and secondary school students in the field of Earth and Space Science, while also allowing for creativity when applying scientific concepts.
Albert, who was accelerated from Year 3 to Year 5 this year, produced an impressive submission, which included highly detailed drawings together with explanations of how the base operated. The included descriptions on how oxygen was recycled, the use of solar wind and energy, gravity equalisation, and of course, the use of radars, rockets and escape pods.
The judges said Albert’s design was not only innovative, it also incorporated sound scientific principles, which highlighted suitable technology that one day, could be used on Mars.
After the awards ceremony, Albert had his photograph taken with Dr Chris McKay, who is a planetary scientist and astrobiologist at the NASA Ames Research Centre, as well as Mark Gargano, the Education Director Mars Society Australia.
He received a certificate along with passes to the Gravity Discovery Centre, Gingin Observatory, Scitech and other items including a star wheel and a 2012 NASA Calendar.