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Lockheed Martin, Discovery Education Launch Next Phase of STEM Initiative for Middle Schoolers

Lockheed Martin and Discovery Education have launched the next phase of an initiative that seeks to inform middle school students on deep space exploration through science, technology, engineering and math education.

The Generation Beyond program is designed to provide an online curriculum with standards-based digital resources for teachers and families that will work to help inspire students from grades six to eight to pursue STEM careers, Lockheed said Monday.

The resources seek to introduce various STEM-focused space exploration careers, identify challenges in a future Mars mission and compare life on Earth and in space.

“Generation Beyond uses space exploration, an area that already generates excitement among young people, to show students how focusing on math and science will take them to places they’ve never dreamed, including another planet,” said Stephen Frick, a former NASA astronaut and current strategic planning and operations director at Lockheed’s space systems advanced technology center.

“We want to inspire kids to become the next generation of engineers and space explorers by pursuing STEM paths.”

The initiative includes student video challenge where students will produce a short video on their own habitation module design for the first crew on Mars.

The challenge is open to individual or group participants through Dec. 15 and will award a total of $17,500 to the winners.

A virtual field trip will also be held as part of Space Week from Oct. 4 to 8 to discuss potential career paths and deep space exploration experiences with Lockheed Martin professionals at the company’s spacecraft operations simulation center in Colorado.

Lockheed said the Generation Beyond program will also provide students a Mars Experience Bus designed to provide a mobile virtual-reality trip to Mars, as well as a Hello Mars mobile application that works to provide real-time Mars weather updates.

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