This week, students put on their engineer hats and became rocket scientists as they designed landing gear for their Mars Rovers. After covering the scientific method, which the students used to research other egg rover ideas, students worked in teams to create their own landing equipment. Their mission was to land their “Egg Rovers” safely on Mars.
Challenged to design rover landing gear with NASA’s 1990’s philosophy, FASTER BETTER CHEAPER, the students were given a 20-25 minute time constraint, along with the freedom of creativity in combining home brought materials and provided materials to design and build their landers. They used materials such as balloons, paper, pipe cleaners, puffed rice, plastic bags, tape and paper cups to build their landing devices. The winners of the competition had to successfully land their Rover (unbroken egg) as well as be resourceful with the materials they had, which sometimes lead to collaborating and negotiating with other groups for materials.
All the teams engineering designs were very creative and, regardless of the outcome, the students all had a “smashing” good time while practicing their teamwork, planning, budgeting, and engineering skills.
If you have a minute, visit the NASA Mars rover website at: http://marsrovers.nasa.gov/home/index.html