Mars rover models - A program to enrich teaching space science, planetary exploration and robotics in elementary and middle school

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

Research output: Contribution to conferencePaper

Abstract

The present aerospace engineering and science workforce is ageing. It is not clear that the US education system will produce enough qualified replacements to meet the need in the near future. Unfortunately, by the time many students get to high school, it is often too late to get them pointed toward an engineering or science career. Since some college programs require 6 units of high school mathematics for admission, students need to begin consciously preparing for a science or engineering curriculum as early as 6th or 7th grade. The challenge for educators is to convince elementary school students that science and engineering are exciting, relevant and accessible career paths. This paper describes a program designed to help provide some excitement and relevance. It is based on the task of developing a mobile robot or "Rover" to explore the surface of Mars. There are two components to the program, a curriculum unit and a contest. The curriculum unit is structured as a 6-week planetary science unit for elementary school (grades 3-5). It can also be used as a curriculum unit, enrichment program or extracurricular activity in grades 6-8 by increasing the expected level of scientific sophistication in the mission design. The second component is a citywide competition to select the most outstanding models that is held annually at a local college or University.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages6401-6410
Number of pages10
StatePublished - Dec 1 2005
Event43rd AIAA Aerospace Sciences Meeting and Exhibit - Reno, NV, United States
Duration: Jan 10 2005Jan 13 2005

Other

Other43rd AIAA Aerospace Sciences Meeting and Exhibit
CountryUnited States
CityReno, NV
Period1/10/051/13/05

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Engineering(all)

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    Bering, E. A., Ramsey, J., Boyko, B. S., Smith, H., Peck, S., & Arceneaux, W. H. (2005). Mars rover models - A program to enrich teaching space science, planetary exploration and robotics in elementary and middle school. 6401-6410. Paper presented at 43rd AIAA Aerospace Sciences Meeting and Exhibit, Reno, NV, United States.