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ASU’s Massive “Walk on Mars” Map to be Displayed as Part of Hermanas Conference at South Mountain Community College

Since 2001, Arizona State University’s THEMIS camera has been taking infrared images of Mars, collecting more than 200,000 pictures over 17 years. The Mars Space Flight Facility has taken the best images, cropped and stitched and blended them together, and printed out a global map of the red planet at full resolution.

It’s the size of a basketball court.

But that’s the point of ASU’s “Walk on Mars” map: for future explorers to be able to walk and explore the hills and valleys of Mars themselves, and visitors will have their chance to do that on November 30 when the map will be displayed as part of the Hermanas Conference at South Mountain Community College.

The conference, hosted by SMCC in partnership with ASU, Intel and the Maricopa Community College District, is focused on introducing Latina girls and young women to careers in the Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) fields, and inspiring them to envision and pursue a career in a technical field.

“Many young Latina girls don’t know what opportunities are available in technology, or what it takes to pursue that career,” said Rosalinda Cota, Director of Early College Programs at SMCC. “They don’t even realize its an option. Combine that with the perception that these professions are not ‘traditional’ for Latinas, and this growing segment of our population is at the most risk of not being prepared to enter the workforce of the future.”

The conference, which runs from 9am-2pm, is designed for middle and high school Latinas, and will feature:

  • Hands-on workshops focused on problem-solving, teamwork and creativity
  • A Latina Town Hall, with an opportunity to learn from and speak with successful Latina professionals and learn about their educational and professional journey
  • A resource fair, featuring educational institutions from across the valley
  • Time to explore ASU’s “Walk on Mars” map
  • Raffles, prizes and much more.

For more information about the Hermanas Conference, including how to attend, call the Early College office at 602-243-8333 or email