Family Programs | ROMkids Weekends

Discovery Corners: Space and Mars

Discovery Corners: Start October 19, 2013. Themed days to enhance the visitor experience!

Mars has captured our imaginations for centuries. As we look up into space we wonder... Is there life on Mars? If not now, was there ever?

Though it may currently seem to be a dead, dry planet, new research suggests that Mars was recently geologically active and may have been host to rivers, lakes and even oceans! What other undiscovered wonders does this planet hold?

Join us as we explore the mysterious planet Mars! We'll talk about the role ROM research has played in deciphering Mars' past, and create our own mini Mars rovers!

Included with Museum Admission. Activities 11 am - 3 pm

Special Guests!
Meet ROM Mineralogy Technician Brendt Hyde. Brendt will be talking ROM research on Mars & space, discussing the Martian meteorites we have on display, and will even have some rarely seen meteorites out for visitors to see! Meet Brent in the Teck Suite of Galleries: Earth's Treasures, Level 2.

We'll also excited to announce that the Center of Planetary Science and Exploration of Western University will be attending! CPSX scientists Tanya Harrison and Cassie Stuurman will be on hand to talk to visitors about Mars and the universe! Meet CPSX in the Rotunda, Level 1.

Photo of Brendt Hyde.Martian Meteorite NWA 5298. Photo: ROM.

  • Meet Brendt Hyde!

    • Brendt Hyde has worked as a mineralogy research technician at the ROM since 2010.
    • Brendt has had a long time interest in space and decided to do his Master of Science researching sulfate minerals similar to those found on the planet Mars. These minerals form when water interacts with rocks and analyzing them gives scientists clues about the properties of the water that was present on Mars. During his studies he developed an appreciation for the instruments used to analyze rocks and minerals. Shortly after showing up at the ROM, Brendt was able to help set-up the new analytical laboratory in Mineralogy. With this new equipment and a museum full of things to analyze, he felt right at home.
    • Brendt's interests have taken him into the world of meteoritics, where he looks at how extraterrestrial rocks have interacted with water, both here on Earth and elsewhere in the Solar System. Since being introduced to the world of meteorites, he has also begun studying melting processes in the early Solar System. This type of research gives us a better understanding of how asteroids and planets formed!

  • Meet The Centre for Planetary Science and Exploration!
    CPSX at Western University is the focus for planetary science and exploration research in Canada! Established in 2008, the Centre hosts Canada’s only graduate program in planetary science and has a vibrant public education and outreach program. CSPX will be represented by scientists Tanya Harrison and Cassie Stuurman!

    • Tanya Harrison wears a number of hats: Web editor intern for The Planetary Society, Ph.D. Candidate in Geology at the University of Western Ontario, public outreach assistant with the Centre for Planetary Science and Exploration, and professional photographer in whatever spare time exists outside of the rest of that. 
    • After receiving her Bachelor of Science in Astronomy and Physics and Master of Arts in Earth and Environmental Sciences, Tanya took a break from academia. She spent 4 years working in mission operations as an assistant staff scientist at Malin Space Science Systems on the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter Context Camera and Mars Color Imager, as well as the Mast Cameras, Mars Hand Lens Imager, and Mars Descent Imager aboard the Curiosity rover. She was also involved in public outreach activities for those missions, as well as with The Mars Society and The National Space Society.
    • Cassie Stuurman is a student at Western University pursuing a Bachelors of Science in Geophysics. She conducts planetary science research with the Centre for Planetary Science and Exploration. Her current work focuses on analyzing radar data from Mars to look for sources of water underground. She also really likes corgis, and corgi-related activities.

Family Activities!
All activities take place in the Rotunda, Level 1, unless otherwise noted.

Make Your Own Mars Rover
While humans may not be able to visit Mars in person, we can at least send robots! Be inspired by rovers like Curiosity, Opportunity and more and, using household materials, design and create your own Mars rover!

Create A Planet Mobile
Our solar system is full with 8 wonderful planets from the terrestrial worlds like Earth and Mars to the gas giants like Jupiter and Neptune. Create your favourite planet out of a paper plate and watch it spin its way into your home!

Space Scavenger Hunt
Did you know that we have rocks from the Moon and Mars on display everyday at the Museum? Explore these geological wonders and more with our space scavenger hunt!

Scale Model Of The Solar System
Space is so vast that it can be hard to imagine just how far apart we are from our stellar neighbours like Venus and Mars. See for yourself just how HUGE our solar system is with our scale model that spans across the first floor of the Museum!

Early Learners Lounge (Classroom 3, Level 1)
The Early Learners Lounge is an under 5 family lounge that provides a quiet space for families to rest, nurse, change diapers and play!

More information!
NEW Research of the Red Planet!
Brendt is a co-author, along with mineralogy curator Kim Tait as well as scientists from many leading universities around the world, on the ROM's recent study of Mars, "Solving the Martian meteorite age conundrum". The study concludes that a martian meteorite, from the ROM’s collection, was created from a 200 million-year-old lava flow, and indicates that parts of Mars' surface is geologically young! To put this in context, 200 millions years ago, while dinosaurs roamed our Earth, Mars' was spewing lava, a distant cry to the dry, seemingly dead surface we see today!

This study was run by an incredible team of scientists from the University of Wyoming, the University of California, Los Angeles, and the University of Portsmouth in the UK and was led by Desmond Moser from the University of Western Ontario.

The study has received considerable coverage around the world. Check out the links below and learn more about this incredible science!

Co-presented by:
Today's Parent LogoDiscovery Activity Station

With thanks to:

Check out more fall Discovery Corners!

Programs are subject  to change without notice.



  • Saturday, November 30, 2013
    11:00 am - 3:00 pm


Royal Ontario Museum Galleries
Teck Suite of Galleries: Earth's Treasures, Level 2
Rotunda, Level 1

Main Entrance ►



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