Global Mars Pilot Project

April 29 2017

Pilot project

Read background

April 29 2017


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Preparation Stage

Approved! :)

As we move forward with the pilot, I will be updating the open explorer page as well as my Instagram!

Hiruni's Instagram:

Stay tuned to our passion based adventure :)


Congratulations! How exciting!

Thank you so much :)

While the school in Matara recover from the flooding situation we worked on improving our curriculum from Colombo.

Today, I am happy to say that I met Dr. Asha de Vos! She indeed encouraged me to pursue this project and even gave me some great advice :)

Global Mars is super excited to move forward with the pilot, regardless of the recent challenges we faced.



Dr. Asha is the best. Glad she's supporting the project, and wishing you all the best in the recovery.

Thank you David :)

Post for May 29, 2017

We are almost done with the curriculum! As we are getting ready to approach the school in Matara, we came across very sad news. Flooding has hit badly to Matara!

"Colombo, Sri Lanka (CNN) Severe flooding brought on by monsoon rains across southwestern portions of Sri Lanka has resulted in the deaths of at least 169 people, according to the country's Ministry of Disaster Management." -CNN Read here:

As a result of this flooding situation, The school we are planing on working with was cancelled for a week :'(

Also, lets not forget Tsunami in 2004! Matara was badly effected by the Tsunami too. "Sri Lankan authorities increased its death toll on Wednesday to 23,015 with more than 4,000 people still reported missing. The flooding also injured more than 8,200 people. Across Sri Lanka, some 1.5 million people have been forced to leave their homes and more than 745,000 no longer have homes. In the coastal town of Matara, locals said some 30 to 40 Western tourists were surfing when the tsunami hit, and all are missing and presumed dead." -CNN Read here:

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Spreading passion based learning in the developing world is a challenge that we are working hard to overcome. Currently we are working on the pilot project curriculum.

We are engaged in applying "spark" based learning to diffuse STEM. During the three day program in July/August 2017, we will introduce the students to cutting edge research, do field work and encourage the scientific method. At the end of the program the students will present their passion based project to the classroom. We will be in touch with the learner after the program to track his or her progress from time to time.

Pilot Project Team:

Founder and Planetary Scientist: Hiruni Senarath Dassanayake;

Chemist and Biologist: Sophia Deady

Hiruni's bio: Hiruni Senarath Dassanayake is an early career planetary scientist and a recent graduate from SUNY Buffalo State. She researched and discovered a possible “crater lake” in Margaritifer Terra, Mars through the 2015 Undergraduate Summer Research Fellowship Award at SUNY Buffalo State. Hiruni interned with National Air and Space Museum at the Smithsonian Institution in Washington, DC where she researched geomorphology of distal deposits related to the formation of Hale crater in Margaritifer Terra, Mars. Hiruni’s research follows the theme of water related geology and habitability in the solar system, focused on Mars. The other planets and moons she has studied so far include Earth and Europa. She is a Geological Society of America (GSA) On To the Future (OTF) scholar and the founder of Global Mars. When she is not occupied by scientific research she can be found working on education and outreach.

Sophia's bio: Sophia Deady is a current Fulbright Fellow in Sri Lanka (November 2016-August 2017) where she teaches six and seventh grade English in Matara. Before coming to Sri Lanka, she studied psychology, chemistry and poetry at Smith College in Massachusetts. She is passionate about teaching, women's health, and improving access to health knowledge and services for communities across the world. Her career goal is to work as an Obstetrician/Gynecologist and health educator in underserved areas.

Do you know @ashadevos by any chance?

YES I do!!! I know you are good friends with her ;)

Expedition Background

Pilot project

"Global Mars" is an experience for students in traditionally under served places in the world to engage in a unique education that would encourage them to pursue science and help become scientists themselves. Below are the Global Mars pilot project goals,

1)Introduce/encourage interdisciplinary learning

2)Fill a knowledge gap

3)Introduce/encourage STEM

4)Introduce/encourage scientific research and exam preparation

5)Introduce students to the scientific method

6)Introduce/encourage passion based learning

7)Encourage learning science through mentoring

Global Mars focus on achieving the above goals utilizing planetary science.

*Why do we encourage passion based learning? Global Mars understands that every student's passion is different. We want to help students utilize their passion to help them learn.

*Why do we serve traditionally under served places in the world? Global Mars know that traditionally under served places in the world suffer from the cycle of poverty. Global Mars believe that education is the key to break this cycle of poverty.

*Why do we encourage passion based learning in traditionally under served places in the world? We want to help students utilize their own passion to break the cycle of poverty.

*How are we going to achieve this? Global Mars consists of a "spark" based curriculum and a passion project that can help the young learner gain new skills so they can carry them in a lifelong journey. This can benefit their community and eventually the world. With a statistically valid study we will establish the program's long term and short term efficiency.

*Pilot project: In the summer of 2017 the pilot project will take the Global Mars team to Matara, Sri Lanka to diffuse knowledge to under served students in the community. We are excited to take you on our journey, please stay tuned to our passion based adventure :)

Link -> (

Global Mars Team | #TeamPassionLearning | #slmars


This sounds really exciting! Excited to see it come together!

Thank you!