Loading Events
  • This event has passed.

Saturday, February 20, 2021

Welcome to SciFest: Mission Mars

Come explore and be immersed in a special day of free themed activities, presentations, and STEM concepts all about Mars and exploring the Red Planet! Meet Mars experts and participate in Mars and space-related activities in our galleries, including a Mars rover mission simulation. Pick up a commemorative Perseverance Mars rover sticker, and see if you can find the Martian meteorite!

See a special Mars show in the Planetarium! (ticket purchase required; member benefits apply)

Enjoy a Mars-themed food and drink special at our cafe (for purchase).

Members, receive an extra discount on the Mars-themed food and beverage special for the day!

Please note: All current Saint Louis Science Center capacity limits and health guidelines apply to this event. Learn how you can explore safe!


Look for Mars-related activities and programs in the following galleries.

Pick up an Astronaut in Training form, participate in all the gallery activities, and check in with a Planetarium staff member for a special space patch to take home. (while supplies last)

  • LIFE SCIENCE LAB: Astronaut Academy
    Learn about how astronauts live and work in space. Do you have what it takes?
  • GROW: MARSfarm
    Get growing with this mini-greenhouse perfect for home or classroom. Learn about indoor farming on Earth and beyond.
    Join us at our science conversation stations to learn about the atmosphere on Mars. What will you create to get to Mars?
  • MAKERSPACE: Rigamajig and Blue Blocks
    What will you create to get to Mars?
  • DISCOVERY ROOM: Discover Science with Me – Marvelous Mars
    Registration and ticket purchase required; member discount applies
  • 11am and 2pm
    What is like on Mars? How did humans learn about Mars? Celebrate the landing of the Perseverance Rover on Mars this month. We will build our own planet explorers, learn how to code a rover, and explore the surface of Mars.

  • Take a trip to the Mars Base gallery to learn more about Mars and Mars missions, see a piece of a Martian meteorite, and participate in special Mars-related activities for the day. Pick up a commemorative SciFest Perseverance rover sticker to take home! (while supplies last)
  • Mission Mars(ticket purchase required; member benefits apply)
    12:45pm: From War of the Worlds to The Martian, people have been fascinated with Mars since humans began observing the planet thousands of years ago. Learn how to explore the red planet from your backyard and how we now learn more about Mars with the help of robotic explorers, like NASA’s new Perseverance rover in this live star show.
  • Live Sky Tonight(ticket purchase required; member benefits apply)
    11:30am and 3:15pm: Can you see Mars in the sky tonight? Explore the current night sky over St. Louis including the latest news from our red planet in this live star show.
  • Apollo 11 & Beyond VR: Before you get to Mars, you’ve got a lot to learn! Take a ride on some of the most important adventures in space, starting with the famous 1969 Moon landing on Apollo 11. Experience the thrill of exploration and make your own “giant leap” into the future of space travel.
    (ticket purchase required, for riders 9 years old and up all in a single social group)
Special Presentations at Energy Stage

10:15 AM Science Storytime
Listen to the story, “I Am Mars” by James and Rebecca McDonald

11:15 PM The Search for Water on Mars
John Mackin, NASA Solar System Ambassador
NASA and other space agencies have been searching for water on Mars since the 1970s. Various missions have ‘followed the water’ with many surprising results. See where the water is on Mars and how it may help us find evidence of life on Mars and support future manned missions.

12:15 AM The Curiosity Rover Mission and Climates on Early Mars
Madison Hughes, Mars Geology Ph.D. Candidate, Department of Earth and Planetary Sciences, Washington University in St. Louis
Did you know the surface of Mars wasn’t always a cold, dry desert? Come learn more about the NASA Mars Curiosity Rover and its discovery of evidence that Mars was once warm, wet, and habitable!

1:15 PM The Perseverance Rover Mission and the Search for Early Life on Mars
Ray Arvidson, James S. McDonnell Distinguished University Professor, Washington University in Saint Louis
The Perseverance rover launched last summer, and after 7 months, has finally reached Mars. Come discover more about what makes this rover and its mission on Mars so unique and advanced.

2:15 PM Mars in the Movies and Popular Culture
Lindsey LaFore, NASA Solar System Ambassador
Can you name a book or movie or TV show about Mars? Discover the truth and science fiction behind Mars in our stories and popular culture.

3:15 PM Mars Exploration Through the Ages
Dr. Michael Bouchard, Payload Systems Engineer, NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory
We are currently living through the golden age of robotic exploration of the Red Planet! Come learn about how humans have studied Mars from a distance, what we’ve learned, and what we’re trying to discover next.

Share your SciFest experiences with #SciFestSTL

Food and Drink Specials

Science Café(1st Floor)

  • The Red Planet
    7” personal pizza with spicy sausage and mozzarella cheese topped with robust tomato sauce and red dust

The Loft (2nd Floor)

  • The Red Rover
    Chambord raspberry liquor with pomegranate syrup and sparkling wine
  • The Little Rover
    Pomegranate syrup and sparkling apple juice

SciFest: Connect with Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) professionals gathered exclusively for a series of day-long science and technology themed events.  Meet local scientists, engineers and other experts for a personal, close-up look at cutting-edge, creative STEM applications. Learn more about our other SciFest events.

Parking: Regular price at the Oakland Lot. McDonnell Planetarium parking and entrance are temporarily closed.
Location: Entire Science Center Campus


February 20
9:30 am - 4:30 pm


Event Categories: