Expedition MARS

Five students from Czech Republic and Slovakia will fly to Mars.

From 29th of June, students from the Czech and Slovak Republics can apply for the 19th edition of the Expedition Mars competition. As part of this competition, the organizers are looking for the most talented students from all over Czech Republic and Slovakia. During the competition, the participants design an experiment for the flight of a stratospheric balloon, the finalists also have excursions to various scientific and technical institutions and the top five will experience a 100-hour simulated flight to Mars.

“At Expedition, we are looking for young talents with an interest in natural sciences, space and technology. We try to educate them in a fun way and support them in their further development,” said competition leader Michal Vyvlecka, who is a former participant in the competition and is currently getting his Ph.D at the University of Vienna.

Competitors must first complete home rounds. Participants complete an online interview where they present 5-minute presentation on a professional topic. Depending on the choice of expertise, this will relate to biology, physics, engineering, design or the popularization of science and technology. Subsequently, the group of 25 best solvers of the Internet round is invited to the four-day semi-finals.

“Last year, our semi-finalists had to face many problems, they tried to present their projects in front of the other participants and in front of the jury, and then they had to deal with more complex scientific and technical challenges together as a team,” said coordinator Beáta Plaskurová.

Only few participants make it to the finals. At the end, a group of five best students is selected to take part in simulated flight to Mars. During the entire competition, the participants go through very demanding preparation. Not only their theoretical knowledge is tested, but above all also their endurance, mental resilience and ability to work together as a team. It is necessary for the flight crew to understand each other because they will have to stay together in one space for 100 hours.

During the competition, participants also work to prepare experiments for launch on a stratospheric balloon. This is already a very complex task, which is why the organizers are available to the participants during the entire process. They pass on the necessary knowledge and provide useful advice.

After the competition ends, many finalists become organizers. Almost everyone who is currently driving the Expedition has gone through its pitfalls themselves and experienced the same thing that this year’s participants will experience. The competition also has other educational and development courses prepared for its commanders. Expedition finalists currently work at prestigious domestic and international universities.

Expedition Mars is the first competition in the Czech and Slovak Republics that provides students with the opportunity to try a simulated flight to Mars. The aim of the competition is to support gifted children and students in their development in the field of science and also to popularize science in the Czech Republic and Slovakia. Currently, it is among the leading Czech and Slovak projects that work with talented youth in the field of natural and technical sciences. The competition is organized by Alumni Scientiae Bohemicae and financed by the Ministry of Education and Culture. Slovak partners of the competition are the Slovak Space Activities Organization and the Astronomical Club Bratislava.

Send applications by 10.8.


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