The 5th and 6th graders traveled to Moscow Junior High to compete in their long awaited Mars Rover competition. There were 52 teams in attendance. Prairie supplied 12 of those teams. Students not only participated in events with their rover, but activities that scientists created to show kids how science applied to everyday life.
The biggest experience that students underwent was realizing the steps scientists go through before they have a final product. The engineering design process starts with identifying a problem, continues to setting the goals, brainstorming ideas, constructing their design, testing their product, and finally, presenting the final product. The final product, the rover, was supposed to be designed to complete challenges it could encounter on Mars. The challenges included a hill climb, speed terrain, rock collecting, blind drive, and weight. Students were assessed on their lab notebook that documented all of the steps the groups went through to develop their
rovers and their presentation of the engineering design process. .
The day was filled with excitement as each group participated in the challenges. By the end of the day, exhaustion was in the air. NASA put on an informative show after the competition to show students the purposes of NASA. In one demonstration, Mrs. Forsmann was asked to be a volunteer. She had to hold her hand in front of a flaming torch to see if the material in space ships was flame and heat resistant.
After NASA's demonstration, awards were given. Three awards were given to teams at our school. The Space Rebels, Casey Danly, Leah Holthaus, Clark Bruno, Tyson Hartnett, Keely Schmidt, and Zac Mauer, received two awards - the best poster display and best poster presentation awards. Stars of Mars, Claire Whitley, Nick Shears, Kayla Frei, Shawn Leonard, Kendall Schumacher, and Kelsey Tidwell, received the best lab notebook award.
Thanks to all of the parent volunteers that helped. It was nice to have extra people there to keep track of the separate teams. Also thanks to Becky Higgins and Rene' Forsmann for being a part of the day. We appreciate everyone who helped us throughout Mars Rover.