Mars Rover Celebration

About The Mars Rover Celebration

What is the Mars Rover Celebration?

Mars Rover Celebration 2018 is an exciting educational opportunity for students to gain valuable hands-on experience building a mock-up Mars Rover. It is a memorable experience that may inspire a future space explorer!

This project builds on classroom learning, putting students’ enthusiasm and inventiveness to work in conjunction with teachers’ lesson plans: either in the classroom, home schooling, or through community organizations such as the Scouts.

How does the Mars Rover Celebration work?

Elementary (Grades 3-5) and middle school (Grades 6-8) students interested in science and engineering will participate in the design and construction of a model of a Mars Rover to carry out a specific science mission on the surface of Mars.

The model will be a mock-up constructed at a minimal cost ($10-$25) of mostly found objects and simple art supplies. Students can enter into one of three categories per grade:

  1. Free-Form (unpowered) Models;
  2. Solar-Powered Models (using a low-cost ($10) car kit as a chassis);
  3. Radio-Control Models (approx. $25 for the kit).

The students will build the models as part of a 6-week fall semester classroom-learning or homework project on Mars. The students will be given design criteria for a rover, and be required to do basic research on Mars that will determine the operational objectives and structural features of their rover.

Entries will be limited to the first 40 elementary schools and first 40 middle schools to enter. Schools are encouraged to have entire grades participate. Participation in the finals on January 27 will be limited to the best 3 teams of 4 students from each classroom. Maximum allowed participation will be 120 models in each half of the competition.

Students will have the chance to showcase their talent at the 2018 Mars Rover Celebration at the University of Houston in January. At the Celebration, students will be able to talk to aerospace professionals and learn more about space exploration. All students will receive Certificates of Recognition for their participation and selected projects receive awards.

To prepare for the Mars Rover Celebration, students in grades 3-8 will...

  1. Create a team of 1-4 members that will design and construct a model rover to carry out a science mission on the surface of Mars.
  2. Utilize the Mars Rover Celebration curriculum and forms to guide their research.
  3. A complete entry will include:
    • A model of a Mars Rover
    • A "guide" booklet describing the mission and the model
    • A team effort plan that documents each member's contribution
    • Receipts documenting expenses
    • A presentation skit (less than 5 minutes) to be performed for the Judges during the contest.

At the Mars Rover Celebration, students will...