Robotics: Mars Exploration Course - EXPLO

Robotics: Mars Exploration

Enter our simulated NASA robotics lab, where your team’s mission is to explore the uncharted surfaces of the Red Planet.

You have been hired to build an exploratory robot outfitted with a remote camera. What your robot sees, you see, and nothing more. Back at the command center, your team will strategize and implement a plan to conquer each challenge that arises. Be the first to discover resources like water and fuel. Outmaneuver other robots in the race to establish proof of life by collecting quantifiable evidence. Each day, your robot will return to Earth so that you can rebuild and reprogram for the next big challenge. Map Mars, surpass the competition, and claim a victory for interplanetary science.

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Course Highlights

  • Creative Problem-Solving

    With each new challenge, discuss the best way to adapt your robot for a successful mission. Apply the engineering design process to test and modify your designs and identify creative solutions. Evaluate and respond to critical data that will test the communication skills of your team under time pressure.

  • Visit to Mars – Soil Collection

    Create a robot that can collect soil samples from Mars, complete with a grabber arm and camera so your team can navigate the alien landscape from Earth.

  • Science of Space Exploration

    Compare our simulated space exploration to how NASA’s Jet Propulsion Lab is thinking about their real Mars 2020 project. Discover how the materials and concepts you are using in class can connect to the ways that aerospace engineers problem-solve and prepare for their missions.

  • Vex Programming Language

    Code in the Vex programming system, a straightforward visual environment built to easily transfer your ideas into commands your robot can follow.

  • Scrum-Style Building

    Implement scrum-style building, a form of teamwork used by professional engineers to keep an entire group productively engaged in reaching critical objectives.

[The teacher] is really creative and we can go to 'Mars' during the class. In this class we build our own robot and have great teamwork. In school I just read, listen and write many things. It's really boring. But here it is really fun! I like building things, too. This class is really exciting and fun.