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Mars Mission

Three-Week Summer Science Program 2024

BioSTEM Award, 2018, J&J • Top Summer Science Program, 2011-Present, NY Times/ • Top Robotics Program, 2017, RoboLoco • Best Medicine Program, 2018, ParentMap • Top Biomedical Engineering, • Top 101 Summer Camps & Programs, • #1 Marine Bio, 2022, ThomasNet, Xometry • Top Summer Programs, 2023,  •  Best Computer Science, 2023,

On this mission to Mars, students will design how we get there, how we land, how we survive once we are there, and if we are very lucky, how we get back to Earth….for those who wish to do so.

Since the 1960’s, the world has launched more than 40 missions to Mars. Six probes are currently orbiting Mars, with two Rovers exploring the surface of this fascinating planet.

So, why is Mars so interesting to some of the most intelligent minds on planet Earth? Planet Earth is exactly the reason: of all of the planets in our solar system, Mars has the highest number of similarities to Earth. Mars has:
 – An almost 24 hour day
 – A tilted axis that results in seasons
 – Evidence that there were lakes and oceans that once made this Red Planet habitable

Could it be habitable again? Can we establish life on Mars? Find out science’s most recent answers to these questions, and many, many more.

Year after year students who delay in applying find the program is sold out, so complete your application today. Join the mailing list at the very least so we don’t fall off your radar.

This is a competitive admissions summer research program designed for teens.

June 24 – July 12, 2024 | Gann/Bentley, Waltham

More About: Awards – Research Programs – Sample Week 


Design and learn the science behind rockets that can reach Mars . Review data with him on the effects of radiation — which astronauts are exposed to on their journey through space — on human health and genetic mutations. Learn about the satellites, spacecraft, and other aerospace technologies scientists are using to chart interplanetary travel. Use ‘Mars-like’ soil to plant vegetables in a temperature controlled green house and assess how they would survive on the red planet. The first humans may walk on the red planet in the next five years—The future is here.  Be a part of the science of space exploration.  Put principles of physics, genetics, chemistry, biology, and engineering into action.

This is a great pre-college program for teens interested in various fields like rocketry, physics, space biology, engineering, and 3D printing.

Instructor: Dr. Vincent Coljee

Dr. Vince Coljee is returning to the Boston Leadership Institute after a two-year hiatus spent tracking the sequence of SARS-COV2 strains as they mutate at the Mayo Clinic. Dr. Coljee is a scholar in the Physics Department at Harvard University. He was selected as a finalist for the Mars Society MA365 project and served as a consultant for the one-year NASA HI-SEAS Mars simulation. He spent 17 days at the MDRS station in Utah for a 2 week Mars simulation.

Student Comments from Summer 2023

I really liked how Dr. Coljee allowed us to do our own research instead of lecturing. We gave presentations each class and worked with new people each time, so it improved my critical thinking and communication skills. I felt like I learned so much from this class, and would recommend it to anyone interested in space!’

‘I liked this program and all of its aspects. Dr. Coljee is very knowledgeable in this area and was able to relate to us very well. He truly inspired me to work hard in the STEM field.’

‘Dr. Coljee was a fantastic teacher, and truly has inspired me through this course to pursue a career in space exploration and engineering.’

Student Comments Continued

‘In Mission to Mars, students explore a variety of topics that need to be considered when planning a mission to Mars, such as: how rockets get off the ground, how to sustain a crew in orbit, and on Mars, protection from radiation, etc. The program includes both lectures and hands-on projects, keeping students engaged. Our instructor was also knowledgeable and enthusiastic about the subject matter, making learning this material fun.’

Launch over to our one-week Space programs, like Planetary Science and Physics of Space!

We also offer an out-of-this-world middle school program, Astronomy!

Note: This page represents our best expectations for the program we will deliver, but is subject to change. We will update this page as new information becomes available.

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