Houston-area grade schoolers have until Nov. 15 to reserve a spot in the 12th Annual Mars Rover Model Celebration and Competition at the University of Houston (UH).
Open to students in grades three through eight, the contest calls for future scientists and engineers to create operational models that can carry out a specific scientific mission on the surface of Mars. Part of the challenge is that they must restrict themselves to found objects and minimal art supplies costing no more than $25 – a budget that would make any NASA administrator quake.
A workshop at UH in September prepared teachers for coaching their students through the planning and completion of their rover models. By now, most students have received design criteria for a rover and have begun basic research on Mars that will determine the operational objectives and structural features of their rovers. The models are being built as part of a six-week classroom-learning or homework project on Mars. Last year, more than 700 students from 55 schools took part in this event.
“The Mars Rover Celebration is a key piece of educational outreach to spark interest in the fields of science and engineering,” said Edgar Bering, professor of physics and electrical and computer engineering at UH. “As educators, we are challenged to convince elementary school students that these fields offer exciting, relevant and accessible career paths. Events like this help by offering hands-on projects that provide very true-to-life results that encourage children to take learning beyond the textbook.”
The event is in its 12th year and is open to the public. It is scheduled to take place 9 a.m. to 6 p.m., January 25, 2014, in the Conrad Hilton Ballroom of the Hilton UH. An entry form is available at https://marsrover.uh.edu/eventregistration.aspx or by contacting Edgar Bering at firstname.lastname@example.org or 713-743-3543.
Area elementary and middle school students
Deadline for 12th Annual Mars Rover Model Celebration
Friday, Nov. 15
Entry form: https://marsrover.uh.edu/eventregistration.aspx
Edgar Bering, 713-743-3543, email@example.com