Take scientists searching for life in Earth's most extreme environments as analogs for future exploration of the Moon and Mars. Pair them with teachers in the field. Have teachers design authentic scientific investigations for students based on their work with the scientists, and, voila, you have NASA's Spaceward Bound program. Fortunate teachers have worked alongside NASA scientists in the Atacama Desert in Chile, the Mojave Desert in southern California, the high plains of North Dakota, Lassen Volcanic National Park in northern California, and now, to McGill Arctic Research Station (MARS) in the Canadian High Arctic.
Geoff Hammond and Robert Palassou, teachers from southern and northern California, respectively, are preparing for the Axel mission by familiarizing themselves with mission objectives, equipment to be used, and working on Spaceward Bound 2.0, the tech component of Spaceward Bound intended to make the Spaceward Bound experience accessible to students and teachers everywhere.