While the potato challenge may be a fun and interactive worldwide event that takes place online, it is not all fun and games…there is a lot more going on during this challenge and it’s not all about potatoes even though they are our focus for 24 hours!
#1 Potatoes Cause People To Talk
First, the Give To Mars Day Potato Challenge causes thousands of people to share tweets and posts online about this challenge prior to the event and the actual 24 hours of the event which is being held this year on November 17, 2016. They are joining in the fun and helping spread the word. But it’s not all about potatoes. The real message they are spreading is the importance of human deep space exploration and also the need to excite young people about science, technology, engineering, arts and mathematics (STEAM). The potato challenge is what they call the “hook” in the marketing and advertising world. This is what gets people’s attention and draws them into the larger conversation. The potato challenge also reminds people who are already advocates to get excited and talk about their passion. Nothing like a few potatoes to get people talking.
#2 Potatoes Cause People To Support STEM Education
Second, while participating in the challenge and having fun we are also raising money for The Mars Generation and the great programs that continue to evolve through this nonprofit. This year we have a special $10,000 matching grant which means that for every $1 we raise during the challenge we get $1 from the grant. The only way to receive the grant is to raise $10,000. This is a major source of funding for us and through our community and this challenge we have the potential to raise $20,000 for our programs which include:
- The TMG Student Space Ambassador Leadership Program currently has over 600 students signed up and is in need of funding so that we can build out the resources for the program. It’s clear students are looking for guidance and want to be leaders and we have the platform to do this but need your help.
- The TMG Space Camp Scholarship Program is a unique scholarship program in that it covers 100% of the fees for Space Camp including transportation, spending money, and a flight suit. Most scholarships cover part of the tuition or often if they cover the tuition that is it. These scholarships are so necessary and important, but for a student who lives at or below the poverty line, it is near impossible to afford the travel expenses to get to Huntsville, Alabama even with a full paid scholarship. The TMG program provides the entire experience and in exchange, the students commit to completing an outreach project about their experience to spread what they have learned to other students in their communities. Scholarship applications are now open for the 2017 summer TMG Space Camp scholarships.
- The TMG Future of Space Outreach Program is our general outreach program which includes a special Facebook group, all the sharing the TMG blog, social media channels, and our special events too. We have a new membership program that is also part of the outreach program. This program is geared to bring as many people as possible into the conversation about the importance of human deep space exploration and STEM education and excite people about the future.
We believe the key to continuing our quest to Mars in the U.S. is through public support of humans to Mars missions and we work very hard through all our programs and outreach to build this support. Your participation in the Give To Mars Day Potato Challenge whether as a ground support crew member, participant or donor is important as it all goes towards helping TMG reach our mission. Potatoes really do matter for deep space exploration, it is through them we can help spread the excitement for human mars exploration and continue to grow this amazing community. Please join the challenge today and become part of our crew!