Hundreds of Mars Rover Models to be Showcased at UH Jan. 26

More Than 800 Elementary and Middle School Students Expected in 11th Year of Event

Nearly 250 Mars rover models created by elementary and middle school students will arrive at the University of Houston (UH) Saturday, Jan. 26 at the 11th annual Mars Rover Model Celebration and Exhibition. Held from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. in the Houston Room of the University Center at UH, the event hosts hundreds of contestants dressed up in their finest Martian and rocket scientist gear and is free for the public to attend. Mars Rover Contestants

Each year, student teams research, design and construct a model rover to carry out a specific science mission on the planet’s surface. A $25 limit on supplies helps students learn about budgets and project management, while keeping the costs accessible for all schools. Past rovers have been crafted from simple art supplies, found objects, solar-power kits and radio-controlled car chassis.

Growing eightfold since its launch 11 years ago, the event is expected to draw more than 800 students, representing nearly 65 schools. An educational endeavor for third- through eighth-graders from Houston and its surrounding areas, the contest was developed to spark students’ interest in science and technology.

Funded in part by a $414,000 NASA Education and Public Outreach for Earth and Space Science grant, this year’s corporate co-sponsors are Halliburton and Marathon Oil. For more information, visit

WHAT: 11th Annual Mars Rover Model Celebration and Exhibition
WHEN: 9 a.m.-6 p.m., Saturday, Jan. 26
10 a.m.-2 p.m. – Elementary school judging
2-6 p.m. – Middle school judging
WHERE: University of Houston
University Center – Houston Room
Off Calhoun Road, Entrance 1
WHO: Area elementary and middle school kids, dressed up as Martians and scientists to showcase their homemade Mars rover models

Editorial Note: Photos are available to media by contacting Lisa Merkl. A short video recap of the event is available at


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