It’s Back: Announcing the #PotatoChallenge 2016

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It’s that time again. We will be hosting our 2nd annual #PotatoChallenge on November 17.

For those of you who did not participate or hear about our super exciting and fun online event we held for the first time last year – no worries you can click here to see the highlights and also read more below.

The TMG Potato Challenge is a fun collective activity that is designed to see if you have the right stuff to be a Martian for 24 hours! If you take the challenge you will be “stranded” on Mars for 24 hours just like fictional astronaut Mark Watney from The Martian movie. The good news is that being stranded does not take you out of your day-to-day life; it just means you have to live on potatoes and water (and maybe a few extra “earned” perks) for 24 hours.

The basic gist of it its hat you commit to surviving on 10 medium sized potatoes and 16 ounces of water for 24 hours. You can earn additional condiments for your potatoes and other perks by completing special challenges throughout the day and night. As a group we collectively earn things like showers, coffee and eventually coming home from Mars by helping to raise funds for The Mars Generation. Don’t worry we bring in the entire TMG community to contribute to help get us home and some coffee and a shower too!

Why do this?

Besides being a bit crazy and off beat and something fun to do and who doesn’t need a bit of fun to break up the day. Some other reasons to participate include:

  • Helps get people talking about human space exploration and with that conversation grows awareness
  • Helps get people talking about Mars exploration and well if you are part of our community you get why we like that!
  • It builds community. Not only with your friends whom we encourage you to challenge and go for it against them and with them – but it is a worldwide event. People share photos and stories and participate in all the aspects of the challenge mainly on Twitter but also Facebook, Instagram and Google+ too. The idea is to get to  know others, talk and have fun. Build community and grow our message of exciting and education people about the importance of STEM education and humans space exploration.
  • It’s for a good cause. The challenge not only raises awareness, but last year we also raised $7,000 To support our programs (see below for more information). Our goal this year is to raise $10,000 to continue to grow The Mars Generation and support our work.
  • Prizes – yes we will have prizes again this year.
  • If that is not enough – then how about because you have now been challenged and who doesn’t like a challenge!

How to Participate in the #PotatoChallenge

  1. To participate, it is pretty simple. All you need is some potatoes and water! Read the Guidelines here.
  2. Sign up here for updates and to be on the official participants list. It is ok. If you don’t participate that is fine but signing up keeps you in the loop and if you do participate it qualifies you for prizes. Be sure [email protected] your email address book to ensure you get our emails (we will only send emails pertaining to Give to Mars Day).
  3. Post on your page that you have taken the #PotatoChallenge and now will be challenge others to join you! Here is a great sample post:

    I’m going to prove I have the right stuff like Mark Watney from #TheMartian movie by taking the #PotatoChallenge! Join me: themarsgeneration.org/potato-challenge #GTMD16

  4. If you want to earn additional cool stuff you can setup a personal fundraiser page. You will be helping support sending kids to Space Camp and also have a chance for some cool space swag including TMG logo t-shirts, sweatshirts and more fun stuff! You can ask family, friends, co-workers, neighbors, friends online to help you reach your goal. They support #STEM and space education and also your commitment to participate in the #PotatoChallenge. Their donations also go to help our team earn additional resources for the day like salt, butter, coffee and even a shower.  Details to setup a fundraising page are here. and for tips on how to run a personal fundraiser to support a nonprofit click here.  Rewards for raising funds are as follows and can also be seen here:
    • Raise $50 to receive a special art print titled “Love to Mars”
    • Raise $150 receive a TMG logo t-shirt
    • Raise $250 receive a TMG logo sweatshirt
    • Raise $500 receive a special TMG swag package including all lower level rewards and also a TMG patch, Soyuz Adventure patch, TMG stickers and TMG magnet
    • Raise $1000 and receive all lower level prizes plus a black mid-weight TMG patch jacket (this jacket sits at your waist)
  5. Challenge others. It’s more fun when you challenge others to join you!To challenge others post on their FB wall, or tag them on Twitter or email them or whatever you want to do with a message such as:I challenge you @PotatoSarah to support #STEMed & take the #PotatoChallenge with me.  You can join me for 24 hours of potato fun or donate to my fundraising page here:Keep challenging others, follow our channels and share share share to get others involved.

How To Win

To “win”, we all need to be “rescued” from Mars and returned to earth. How does this happen? When The Mars Generation reaches its online fundraising goal the rescue team will arrive and take us “home” to earth. And as a prize we all get to have a great big earth prepared meal, without potatoes!

To win for yourself, will require will power and for you to see if you have “the right stuff”. But don’t worry – if you need to break the rules no one will be watching you and this is for fun and charity!

We have lots of prizes to give away through random drawings throughout the day.

You may earn up to 8 entries per hour.

To enter you must be on Twitter and use the #PotatoChallenge hashtag. You will get one entry for every tweet that shows a photo of you participating in the Potato Challenge or has you participating (example: we ask you to share the music you are listening to, so you share a link to a YouTube video –that counts).

You are also entered in the drawings for every tweet that has a call to action to contribute or check out our Give To Mars Day campaign and also has the link to our campaign page. (limit 4 tweets per hour).

Examples include:

I am participating in the #GTMD16 #PotatoChallenge – Donate now and support @TheMarsGen #JourneyToMars https://givemn.org/organization/themarsgeneration

Help me get salt for my potatoes and save me from #Mars! #PotatoChallenge #TheMartian #GTMD16 https://givemn.org/organization/themarsgeneration

It’s for the kids #GTMD16. Support #STEM #PotatoChallenge #JourneyToMars https://givemn.org/organization/themarsgeneration

What will the money be used for?

This funding will go to support TMG’s 3 programs. We have over 600 Student Space Ambassadors signed up, our Future of Space group is 2500+ strong and we are on second year of sending students with financial need to Space Camp USA. You are helping to grow this organization and empower young people and adults to change the world.

To learn the rules of the challenge click here. To sign up click here. We look forward to you joining us! Thank you!

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