Next-Gen of Space Explorers Combine Learning with Fun at the House of Wisdom
The House of Wisdom, Sharjah’s new cultural edifice and a futuristic social hub for learning held four hands-on collaborative project activities catering to diverse age groups to help participants gain better insights into the interplanetary journey of UAE’s inaugural spacecraft – the Hope Probe, as it reaches the red planet’s orbit on February 9.
Organised as a special event for the Emirates Mars Mission which has marked a countdown to its landing on Mars, the four free workshops held at the House of Wisdom were designed to spur scientific awakening, improve science literacy, and enable the next generation of innovators. The four workshops, which engage with new ideas and concepts and instill creative thinking, will be repeated on February 9 to coincide with Hope Probe’s landing on Mars that day.
3D Design your Idea of Mars Habitat
Held at the Al Jazari Laboratory or the Fabrication Lab, a stimulating technology zone and makerspace at the House of Wisdom, the ‘3D Design your Idea of Mars Habitat’ workshops enabled participants to get a grasp of the basics of 3D design and use the emerging technology to visualise a future Mars Habitat in a three-dimensional view. Following an introduction to building a base on Mars, the 10 participants in the 13-17 age group, were encouraged to build paper prototype sketches to visualise the idea of a Mars Habitat. They learnt the tips and tricks of 3D-designing using TinkerCAD and had to showcase the designs on completion.
Navigate the Rover Challenge
At the two-hour ‘Navigate the Rover’ session dedicated to 10-12-year-olds, teams of three were each presented with a sphero MARS Terrain Map, a sphero Bolt and a tablet to control their rover. Following the guidelines, participants had to steer their sphero robot from the starting point, avoid the grids with craters and use only grids to move around. The winning team was the one that started at the designated point, reached the rover to deliver supplies, and successfully made it to the end line.
‘UAE’s mission to Mars” Activity
In ‘UAE’s Mission to Mars” session six to 12-year-olds learnt all about the Mars exploration journey and were engaged in intellectually stimulating discussions to broaden their vocabulary and knowledge about the innovations marking UAE’s space exploration efforts. They also conducted Space Science experiments at the dedicated Little Reader, an educational and social gathering space for young visitors at the House of Wisdom.
The activity session for toddlers was a walk-in event where the young ones could join any time from 10am to 3pm. Here, toddlers in the three to five age group explored the concepts of space and planets through sing-along tunes and dramatic story sessions. Physical activities were held in the outdoor play area. In addition to several STEM-related activities, games focusing on the space world were organised to stimulate their cognitive skills.