Haller hosts Mars Day

Haller Middle School students show off leadership skills during Mars Day
Mars DayHaller Middle School students worked as a team to solve problems during the annual Mars Day on May 31. On Mars Day, students build a life-size, mock Mars colony with various stations where student astronauts are assigned a piece of the colony to master in hopes that the entire colony will succeed. Seventh and eighth graders, as well as some high schoolers, serve as lead commanders to help the sixth graders earn mission success while colonizing the Martian surface.

“It’s really neat to see the sixth graders struggle and then have mission success,” said eighth grader Mya Lopez.

This year, students in the highly capable program at Haller created their own “ice mining” station where they simulate creating gloves to pick up ice.

“The students worked to engineer a glove that can withstand the cold on Mars as they mine for ice,” said Haller Science Teacher Rachel Harrington. “This allowed ‘the colony’ water to purify which provided potable water for the colonists.”

The students coordinated the entire station. Sixth grade students served as astronauts and the highly capable students served as lieutenants for the mission which helped with their leadership skills.

“This Mars Day station really provided an authentic, collaborative experience for the highly capable students by allowing them to leverage their abilities to solve problems and practice critical thinking and leadership skills,” said Arlington Public Schools Highly Capable Program Coordinator Verlaine Meyers.