Slimy food, mutated pets, special exercise suits and a whole new language are some of the changes humans would have to adjust to living on Mars in 2050, according to Forest Park Middle School students.
Kayla Borens, a teacher at the Longview ISD campus, said the school worked together across all classes and subjects on a project-based learning assignment, which was to show what life would be like for the first humans to inhabit Mars in 2050.
The project included creating a government, economy, foods, pets and language, she said.
One group learned how exercising would be different on Mars and designed a special suit.
Group member Victoria Ramirez said students also had to consider the difference in gravity, so they designed special products and weights to use during workouts.
Another group created a new language and newspaper with a combination of Spanish and English grammar.
“The process was kind of difficult; we had to come up with everything,” student Sherylin Pasual said. “We made up our own rules.”
The group made a newspaper in English and translated it to the new language they created. They had to create long and short vowels and sentence structure.
Borens said a challenge for the students was thinking like the age they would be in 2050 versus now.
“At the beginning, ... they’re saying they want no laws for Mars,” Borens said. “We were, like, ‘OK, guys ... let’s think about this.’”
One group was tasked with creating a new economy for the planet.
“We had to make something we could use in different ways, like a debit card and credit card and a watch you could buy things off of,” sixth-grader Elena Guevara said.
The group also had a 3-D printer making blocks of “currency.”
“We decided to do a mixed economy providing a mix of private and free enterprise,” group member Elizabeth Galvan said.
Leslie Corona said the people going to Mars will be free of debt and already have a job. Their Martian economy also would have free education and health care.
Teachers helped the students with tools and research materials, but all the ideas were student-generated, Borens said. The Mars project is the first campuswide project-based learning assignment for Forest Park.
“I definitely think it was a success. We’re definitely doing more,” Borens said. “We’re actually signed up for a (project-based learning) training right after school, starting in June.”
Eighth-grader Sophia Gil liked the nontraditional aspect of the project.
“We learned how to work together,” she said. “I like the idea of (project-based learning) because it’s more hands-on, and we’re creative thinking. It’s not like traditional learning where you sit down and are told what to do by the teacher.”