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ALIA mission

Six high schools are sought to travel to Mars


We are looking for six high schools to participate in an educational project that links science outreach and literary creation. The young people will immerse themselves in some of the most outstanding research programs of the Institut d’Estudis Espacials de Catalunya (IEEC) and, accompanied by the scientists who lead them and a science fiction writer, will write their own "Martian Chronicles" which will be part of the CCCB's program. What if Mars is on Earth?

In line with scientific discoveries about the universe and the exploration of Mars, this project addresses the contradictions, crossovers and paradoxes posed by the way we inhabit the Earth. Missió ALIA is an across-the-board project that connects knowledge and activates skills. It complements the CCCB’s exhibition Mars. The Red Mirror and, with the support of the CCCB and the IEEC and the collaboration of the Fundació Banc Sabadell, will take six groups of fourth year secondary and first year baccalaureate pupils to the red planet for three months.

You can submit your application until 19 February. The selected schools will receive support material to work on the challenge assigned to them, visit the CCCB’s exhibition, learn about an IEEC research project with one of its researchers and be accompanied by a science fiction writer. The resulting stories will form part of a podcast that revisits Ray Bradbury’s classic Martian Chronicles and will be presented this summer at the CCCB.

The Mission

Missió ALIA presents six challenges surrounding the exploration of planet Mars:

  1. Will humans be able to survive there? Life in extreme habitats.
  2. How will we eat, drink and breathe on Mars? Life-support systems on a Martian base.
  3. What would a sustainable city on Mars be like? Designing a Martian city.
  4. How many planets are necessary to maintain our lifestyle? Expansion throughout the galaxy and terraforming.
  5. Is there life beyond the Earth? Was there life on Mars? The search for life, alien consciousness and civilizations.
  6. Whose universe is it? Peaceful exploration, colonization and exploitation of space.

The timeline

  • 9-19 February: open call to schools.
  • 25 February: announcement of the schools selected and opening of the exhibition.
  • 3 March: presentation of Missió ALIA to teachers at the participating schools.
  • March: internal work at the schools based on the resources provided.
  • April (date to be decided): visit to the exhibition at the CCCB and meeting with the IEEC scientist, and session at the school with the science-fiction writer.
  • 30 May: handing in of science fiction stories.
  • June: presentation of the stories at the CCCB.

The call

Missió ALIA is open to

  • Fourth year secondary and first year baccalaureate groups. One group per school may apply (or be chosen). Other groups can use the materials and resources but only one story per school will be accepted.
  • A combined approach of different subjects to the challenge will be valued; the support of a minimum of two teachers of two different subjects is therefore necessary.
  • Schools in the city of Barcelona. (Due to the conditions imposed by pandemic protocols, on this occasion we cannot include schools outside the city of Barcelona. We regret this limitation and undertake to release all the material generated by the process for use by everyone.)

How to apply

Send an email to by 19 February at 13:00, including:

  • Name of the school and contact email.
  • Full name, subject taught and contact of the teachers involved.
  • Year taking part and number of pupils.
  • Cover letter explaining which challenge you’d like to work on and why. The statement should be no longer than 2 pages.

With the participation of

Kike Herrero Casas (astronomer at the Institut d’Estudis Espacials de Catalunya - IEEC).

Inés Macpherson (Philosophy graduate and storyteller: she writes them, tells them and sometimes even dances them)

With the collaboration of the Institut d’Estudis Espacials de Catalunya (IEEC) and Fundació Banc de Sabadell.

Participants: Kike Herrero Casas, Inés Macpherson

This activity is part of Mars

Other activities as part of


More information on the exhibition

Mission Curiosity

A Martian project for students of elementary school


Miquel Sureda, Mariona Badenas, Laura Benítez and Ignasi Ribas


Carme Jordi and Xavier Luri