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Wednesday, April 21, 2021

Campus

Mars rovers roam over


Students from Quail Valley Middle School show off their Mars Rover, RBJ-2000, entered in the freeform category. | Aisha Bouderdaben/The Daily Cougar

Students from Quail Valley Middle School show off their Mars Rover, RBJ-2000, entered in the freeform category. | Aisha Bouderdaben/The Daily Cougar

In an effort to attract young people to the fields of science, technology, engineering and mathematics, UH hosted more than 650 elementary and middle school-aged children Saturday for the 11th annual Mars Rover Model Celebration and Exhibition.

Dressed in their best martian and rocket scientist attire, students invented a space mission and constructed a model rover to carry out that mission.

“We emphasize students choosing their own mission and category because they will be most excited while learning about a project they have chosen for themselves,” said Rebecca Forrest, event co-coordinator and instructional associate professor of physics.

Almost three dozen schools brought their students to the Houston Room in the University Center to present their projects to volunteer judges who are studying STEM fields at UH.

“We’re also trying to recruit a few new Cougars to the pack,” Forrest said.

The outreach program brings in students in grades three through eight, primary and secondary schools in the surrounding Houston area. For many of the students, it was their first time visiting a college campus.

“Everything is so big here,” said 10-year-old Tristan Lawniczak after showing off an impressively detailed electronic rover model.

“I haven’t thought that far ahead yet, but I might want to come here.”

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