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South Carolina State Museum Launches 21st CCLC Afterschool Mars Project

The South Carolina State Museum (SCSM) in conjunction with South Carolina Department of Education (SCDE), is offering a free afterschool program for six 21st Century Community Learning Centers (CCLC) across South Carolina. From January 2019 through March 15, 2019, selected sites will participate in free a six-week program, funded by a grant awarded to the State Museum by Boeing, where students learn the skills necessary to complete a successful mission to Mars.

SCSM staff visit each 21st CCLC site every Monday for the duration of the program. During their visit, they will teach a free 45-minute activity and drop off any supplies that are needed for the remaining activities that week. 21st CCLC staff are then responsible for teaching the other 3 activities that week.

Each week, students will complete a sequence of four 45-minute activities centered on a common theme, including:

Rocket launching
Surviving on Mars
Human exploration

During Communication week, students participate in a distance learning session with SCSM Observatory Manager Matthew Whitehouse, where they will learn how the SCSM observatory works and what it takes to become an astronomer. Students will also get an exciting visit from SCSM’s Starlab portable planetarium during the Human Exploration week.

“The goal of this project is to prepare students for STEM-related careers through a series of engaging, hands-on activities,” said Tom Falvey, Director of Education at the State Museum. “NASA plans to have the first humans walking on Mars in the 2030s which means the students we reach in this project could be part of the team that lands on Mars.”

In total 144 programs are being held in Kershaw, Marlboro, Oconee, Laurens, Marion and Lexington County sites based on need, afterschool support and sustainability among others.

This program is just one of many outreach programs that help bond the State Museum’s commitment to the educational improvement of all South Carolina’s school children with its vision of being a catalyst for the cultural and educational development of our state.

Click Here for more information on the State Museum’s outreach programs.