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Mars Rover Models -- A Program to Enrich Teaching Space Science, Planetary Exploration and Robotics In Elementary And Middle School

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Mars Rover Models -- A Program to Enrich Teaching Space Science, Planetary Exploration and Robotics In Elementary And Middle School. by Edgar A. Bering, III, John Ramsey, Brenda S. Boyko, Holly Smith, Sandy Peck and William H. Arceneaux. Outline of Presentation.

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Mars Rover Models -- A Program to Enrich Teaching Space Science, Planetary Exploration and Robotics In Elementary And Middle School


Edgar A. Bering, III, John Ramsey, Brenda S. Boyko, Holly Smith, Sandy Peck and William H. Arceneaux

outline of presentation
Outline of Presentation
  • What is the Mars Rover Model Competition?
  • What motivated the program?
  • History
  • Sponsors
  • Program details
    • Teaching the contest as a curriculum unit
    • The competition
  • Future plans and suggestions
program summary
Program Summary
  • Primary and middle school (Grades 3-8) students.
  • Design and build a model of a Mars Rover .
    • Select specific science mission on Mars.
  • The model will be a minimal cost mock-up, constructed of mostly found objects.
  • A low cost ($10) solar powered car kit or ($25) RC car may serve as the chassis.
  • Provide very low cost alternative to true robotics programs
  • Develop flexible curriculum module that covers planetary science and aerospace engineering
  • Excite and motivate future engineers
a legacy event from the new face of space exciting the next generation
A Legacy Event FromThe New Face of SpaceExciting the Next Generation

Educational Events and Activities at the World Space Congress 2002 and the

more history
More History
  • Based on JPL’s Mars Millennium project
  • Brought to Houston by Mayor’s SparkPark project
  • Refined and further developed by Holly Smith, Bendwood Elementary, SBISD
  • AIAA
    • University of Houston Student Chapter
    • Houston Section
  • University of Houston
    • Office of the Senior Vice-Chancellor/Vice-President for Academic Affairs/Provost
    • College of Natural Science and Mathematics
    • Cullen College of Engineering
    • College of Education
    • College of Optometry
    • College of Technology
    • Texas Center for the Study of Advanced Materials
    • Physics Department
    • Geosciences Department
    • Electrical and Computer Engineering Department
our process
Our Process
  • Raise Funds
  • Select Dates
  • Review Lessons From Last Event
  • Announce Event
  • Conduct Teacher Workshop
  • Solicit Entries, Volunteers
  • Conduct Event
mars unit overview
Mars Unit Overview
  • Research the characteristics of Mars
  • Investigate the features of NASA’s probes
  • Power for Probes – Solar Racer (optional)
  • Design teams decide on mission, rover features & create initial draft with the criteria in mind
  • Build rovers using craft materials
  • Plan presentation to share their teams Mars Rover
  • Enter & win the competition!
research the characteristics of mars
Research the Characteristics of Mars
  • Learn about the features & conditions on Mars.
  • Gather information critical for a Mars space probe.
  • Use various sources – internet, NASA materials, videos, CD-ROMS, etc.
  • Share information in a fun way – have student groups teach the class.
research the features of nasa s mars probes
Research the Features of NASA’s Mars probes
  • Learn how space probes communicate and conduct experiments on Mars
  • See how space probes are designed to survive in harsh conditions
  • Learn how rovers are designed & tested
  • Share facts & findings
  • Note mission similarities
powering probes solar racer
Powering Probes : Solar Racer
  • Great for learning about solar power and experimenting with various kinds of propulsion
  • Cost: $10 per kit – teams of about 2-3 are practical
  • Fun for races, analyzing design & propulsion strategies
creation of a rover for the competition
Creation of a Rover for the Competition
  • Review Mars conditions
  • Review highlights of NASA’s probes to Mars
  • Review the criteria for the 2004-5 Rover Competition
  • Form Rover Design Teams of 3-4 members
rover planning mission on mars
Rover Planning: Mission on Mars
  • Begin completing the leading questions in the Mars Rover Guide
  • Obtain consensus on 2-3 objectives for their mission
  • Examine map of Mars to locate a landing site to accomplish mission goals
rover planning features for mission
Rover Planning: Features for Mission
  • Brainstorm the technology and features needed to accomplish their mission.
  • Brainstorm features to handle the harsh conditions – cold, dust, rough terrain.
  • Sketch initial design incorporating team’s ideas.
rover construction a team approach
Rover Construction – A Team Approach
  • Emphasize teamwork and group decision making
  • Use various arts & craft supplies along with materials available from the store – foil, cups, Styrofoam trays, straws, spoons, etc.
  • Use book tape & hot glue for assembly of the pieces
building your model
Building your model
  • Two 8th grade students building a demonstration model during a teacher training workshop
planning for the presentation
Planning for the Presentation
  • Explain the criteria for the presentations - rubric
  • Encourage creativity with skits, props and costumes
  • Explain key features and the rover’s capabilities in the extreme conditions
  • Develop scripts & practice
presenting the 2004 5 mars rovers
Presenting the 2004-5 Mars Rovers
  • The day is here! Share rovers and creative ideas for future exploration
  • Encourage probing and clarifying questions from the audience
  • Evaluate rovers and presentations based on established criteria - rubric
share your model
Share your model
  • Lights, camera … skit!
engage and empower
Engage and empower
  • Positive attitude toward science
  • Positive perception of science relevance
  • Knowledge Ownership
  • Situational empowerment
  • Goal-oriented long-term task
  • Science process skills
  • Laboratory experience
  • Investigation planning
  • Data collection
  • Inference
  • Organization
  • Communication
  • Writing

Yes, sir. I know that real spacecraft use white duct tape…

mars rover competition website http troll phys uh edu marsrover
Mars Rover Competition Website
  • Items of Interest:
  • Schedule
  • Contest Rules
  • Entry Form
  • Resources
  • Mars Here We Come Slideshow
  • Expenses
    • Direct -- $7000
    • Overhead --$3500
  • Bare bones
  • Not covered
    • T-shirts & goodie bag for participants
    • Posters & curriculum materials for teachers
future what can aiaa do
Future -- What Can AIAA Do?
  • Spread the word
    • Informally, or
    • Adopt program as nationwide activity
    • Contact schools
  • Help fund
    • Help find local corporate sponsors
    • National sponsors
    • Formal, standards based modules
  • Volunteers needed!
mars here we come

MarsHere We Come!

The 2004-5 Mars Rover Model Competition -

An Overview of the Curricula & Resources

Holly Smith - Spring Branch ISD – [email protected]