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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

by

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


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Outline of Presentation Science, Planetary Exploration and Robotics In Elementary And Middle School

  • 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


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Program Summary Science, Planetary Exploration and Robotics In Elementary And Middle School

  • 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.


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Contestant Science, Planetary Exploration and Robotics In Elementary And Middle School


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Motivation Science, Planetary Exploration and Robotics In Elementary And Middle School

  • 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


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A Legacy Event From Science, Planetary Exploration and Robotics In Elementary And Middle SchoolThe New Face of SpaceExciting the Next Generation

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


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More History Science, Planetary Exploration and Robotics In Elementary And Middle School

  • 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


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Sponsors Science, Planetary Exploration and Robotics In Elementary And Middle School

  • 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


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Our Process Science, Planetary Exploration and Robotics In Elementary And Middle School

  • Raise Funds

  • Select Dates

  • Review Lessons From Last Event

  • Announce Event

  • Conduct Teacher Workshop

  • Solicit Entries, Volunteers

  • Conduct Event


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Mars Unit Overview Science, Planetary Exploration and Robotics In Elementary And Middle School

  • 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!


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Research the Characteristics of Mars Science, Planetary Exploration and Robotics In Elementary And Middle School

  • 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.


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Research the Features Science, Planetary Exploration and Robotics In Elementary And Middle Schoolof 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


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Powering Probes : Solar Racer Science, Planetary Exploration and Robotics In Elementary And Middle School

  • 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


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Creation of a Rover for the Competition Science, Planetary Exploration and Robotics In Elementary And Middle School

  • 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


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Rover Planning: Mission on Mars Science, Planetary Exploration and Robotics In Elementary And Middle School

  • 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


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Rover Planning: Features for Mission Science, Planetary Exploration and Robotics In Elementary And Middle School

  • 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.


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Rover Construction – A Team Approach Science, Planetary Exploration and Robotics In Elementary And Middle School

  • 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


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Building your model Science, Planetary Exploration and Robotics In Elementary And Middle School

  • Two 8th grade students building a demonstration model during a teacher training workshop


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Planning for the Presentation Science, Planetary Exploration and Robotics In Elementary And Middle School

  • 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


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Presenting the 2004-5 Mars Rovers Science, Planetary Exploration and Robotics In Elementary And Middle School

  • 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


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Share your model Science, Planetary Exploration and Robotics In Elementary And Middle School

  • Lights, camera … skit!


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Here Come da’ Judge! Science, Planetary Exploration and Robotics In Elementary And Middle School


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Bright smiles, bright kids Science, Planetary Exploration and Robotics In Elementary And Middle School


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The Winners! Science, Planetary Exploration and Robotics In Elementary And Middle School


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Engage and empower Science, Planetary Exploration and Robotics In Elementary And Middle School

  • Positive attitude toward science

  • Positive perception of science relevance

  • Knowledge Ownership

  • Situational empowerment

  • Goal-oriented long-term task


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Standards Science, Planetary Exploration and Robotics In Elementary And Middle School

  • Science process skills

  • Laboratory experience

  • Investigation planning

  • Data collection

  • Inference

  • Organization

  • Communication

  • Writing

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


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Mars Rover Competition Website Science, Planetary Exploration and Robotics In Elementary And Middle Schoolhttp://troll.phys.uh.edu/MarsRover/

  • Items of Interest:

  • Schedule

  • Contest Rules

  • Entry Form

  • Resources

  • Mars Here We Come Slideshow


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Budget Science, Planetary Exploration and Robotics In Elementary And Middle School

  • Expenses

    • Direct -- $7000

    • Overhead --$3500

  • Bare bones

  • Not covered

    • T-shirts & goodie bag for participants

    • Posters & curriculum materials for teachers


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Future -- What Can AIAA Do? Science, Planetary Exploration and Robotics In Elementary And Middle School

  • 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!


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Mars Science, Planetary Exploration and Robotics In Elementary And Middle SchoolHere We Come!

The 2004-5 Mars Rover Model Competition -

An Overview of the Curricula & Resources

Holly Smith - Spring Branch ISD – [email protected]


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