Sunday, September 03, 2006


I'm interested in space for various reasons, one of which is educational outreach. On the most obvious level, this means trying to make the case that space is interesting and important to anyone who isn't already convinced. But I think the most important outreach audience is kids, in part because some parts of space exploration are pretty cool and this might lead some kids to consider studying and maybe eventually working in science and technology. We need future scientists and engineers for more than just space, of course.

So I and many others (from NASA HQ on down) are trying various things to connect with kids. My MarsDrive colleague Dale Rogers has made a great start on a site called, where he has begun a series of educational cartoons called "Little Red Planet." He's still experimenting with approach and content, but I think he has a nice style going on this, and he understands that less is more. This is something I also understand at some level, but seldom manage to honor (e.g., second edition of Go Play In Space went from 136 to 181 pages).

Kids4Mars is also now the home of the first version of my children's book Mars... Just Imagine (free 3 MB PDF), which I consider to be a work in progress. If you read it and especially if you share it with a child, I'd really appreciate if you would email me with any comments or suggestions you may have. Kids4Mars is also something of a work in progress, and if you visit you will find some pages that say "more coming soon" and asking for contributions of material. If you'd like to help with space outreach for kids, please get in touch with Dale or with me.

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