NewsPalm Beach CountyRegion C Palm Beach CountyWest Palm Beach


Reaching For The Stars: Local students get chance to potentially help with design of next Mars Rover

Posted at 7:55 PM, Jun 16, 2017
and last updated 2017-06-16 19:55:36-04

One small step at the South Florida Science Center could lead to a giant leap in the future of Mars exploration.

For the last two weeks, students there have been part of a NASA sponsored space camp.

Working in teams, under the guidance of local teachers, their mission for the last two weeks is to figure out how to navigate the rough Martian surface.

It starts, they say, with the wheels - made on 3D printers.

“Everyone has their own idea, and that's part of the challenge,” student Samir Ahmed says.

The best part of it all, the winning team could actually see parts of their design used on the next Mars rover.

“I think it's pretty cool that high schoolers can do this,” Samir says.

It's a diverse group of 26 students from 15 schools in low income areas, from all races and backgrounds.

There's was no shortage of girl power either.

“Girls can be as good as the boys,” student Tia Duhaney says.

All of them are working towards a common goal, innovation for the future.

“The students have learned that they have to put their objectives aside and make it work for the team,” teacher Charles Howard says.

Long after camp ends, teachers and students here hope to take that spirit of exploration back into the school district, bringing programs like this right into the classrooms.

"Those ideas come together, we can reach for the stars...and hopefully get to Mars,” teacher Ryan Dernick says.