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Editorials

Mars and Male Anatomy

Artist's rendering of a Mars Exploration Rover. Illustration Credit: Image by Maas  Digital LLC for Cornell University and NASA/JPL. Compatible 3D conversion by www.anachrome.com in the public interest. No copyright applied. Accessed 14 May 2013 from Wikimedia Commons, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:NASA_Mars_Rover.jpg

Artist’s rendering of a Mars Exploration Rover. Illustration Credit: Image by Maas Digital LLC for Cornell University and NASA/JPL. Compatible 3D conversion by http://www.anachrome.com in the public interest. No copyright applied. Accessed 14 May 2013 from Wikimedia Commons, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:NASA_Mars_Rover.jpg

Usually my daughter eats a hot lunch at school, but today I had to pack a sack lunch for her to take on a field trip. Her class is going to hear a talk at the Kauffman Center sponsored by National Geographic. The speaker is Kobie Boykins, a NASA engineer working with the Mars missions.

Based on the title of this post, you ‘re probably wondering what Mars and male anatomy have in common, right? I’ll get to that.

First, I should probably mention that my daughter is 13 years old and in seventh grade. As a substitute teacher, I’ve learned over the years to be very careful of my language in middle school classrooms. I don’t mean avoiding obvious bad language or innuendos. These are young people whose endocrine systems are flooding their developing bodies and minds with hormones. They will hear double entendres in words and phrases I never imagined might be taken that way until hearing a class of middle school students snickering and thinking, “What did I say? What did I say?”

So I was talking with my daughter yesterday about the field trip, saying something parental such as “That sounds like a fascinating topic.” And then my daughter informs me that the reason she’s looking forward to the field trip is because she’s heard the NASA engineers programmed a Mars Rover to draw a penis on the moon.

So there’s your connection between Mars and male anatomy, courtesy of the middle school mind. Snicker, snicker.

Out of curiosity, I Googled the topic (never in my life thought I’d be using the Google search terms “penis on Mars”) and found this, in case you want to see pictures (no graphic images, just some lines in the red dust of Mars, but if your workplace is especially conservative, you might want to wait until you get home to click this link): http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/04/24/mars-rover-penis-draws-nasa_n_3148422.html

It’ll take you to an article published by the Huffington Post titled “Mars Rover ‘Draws’ Penis On Red Planet & NASA Picture Goes Viral (PHOTO, VIDEO).”

The things I learn as the parent of a middle school child.

Snicker, snicker.

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The KC Education Enterprise has a new sister site, KC Education Research Updates, with occasional news from researchers and neuroscientists of interest to educators.

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About jwmartinez

JoLynne is a journalist and educator. She holds a bachelor's degree in journalism from the University of Kansas and a Master of Arts in Teaching from Park University and is certified to teach high school journalism and English. Former employment includes work for Cable News Network and the University of Missouri-Kansas City in addition to freelancing for clients such as the Kansas City Star and The Pitch.

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