IMAGINE MARS PROJECT: NASA Mars Exploration Program

For six years I followed my dream job of leading the Imagine Mars Project, a national STEAM-based education project co-sponsored by NASA and the National Endowment for the Arts. The challenge we gave students across the country was to work with NASA scientists and engineers to design products and strategies for living on the planet Mars. This challenge offered an almost endless series of open-ended problems that called forth their skills in ways traditional education did not, and allowed the students to try and tackle some of the same problems NASA scientists and engineers were working on.

Once the students came up with ideas, I asked them to express them through the arts and humanities. The scope of expression included everything from the performing arts, visual arts, language arts as well as multiple disciplines of design. 

My job was to expand the scope of project possibilities that students could take on. This led to many unlikely pairing of artists, scientists, professionals of all sorts and students. 

If it happens here on Earth then we can do it on Mars, it just requires new levels of problem solving. I worked with the Baseball Hall of Fame to create baseball on Mars, Nike to create shoes for Martian explorers, landscape architects and horticulturalists to design Gardens on Mars, to name a few. 

Below are videos that document one of my favorite projects. We called it "Green Technology on the Red Planet." 

Student Music Video
Full Project Overview Video