Registration Deadline Approaching for UH Mars Rover Event

Houston-area Students Have Until Nov. 15 to Submit Entry Forms for January Competition, Exhibition

Spots to compete in the Ninth Annual Mars Rover Model Celebration at the University of Houston (UH) are filling up fast. With 44 classrooms already entered, Houston-area grade schoolers have until Nov. 15 to get in their entries.

MarsRover2009A looming deadline and the red planet’s forbidding landscape aren’t the only challenges students in grades three through eight must face. While these future scientists and engineers are expected to create operational vehicles that can carry out a specific scientific mission on the surface of Mars, 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 was held at UH in September to prepare 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. With entries limited to the first 60 schools, only 16 slots remain. Last year, nearly 500 students from 32 schools took part in this event.

“The Mars Rover Celebration is a key piece of educational outreach as UH works to achieve Tier One status, and we hope it will 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 ninth year and is open to the public. It is scheduled to take place noon to 6 p.m., January 29, 2011, in the University Center at UH. An entry form is available at or by contacting Edgar Bering at or 713-743-3543.
WHO: Area elementary and middle school students
WHAT: Deadline for Ninth Annual Mars Rover Model Celebration
WHEN: Monday, Nov. 15
WHERE: Entry form:
CONTACT: Edgar Bering, 713-743-3543,


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