The winners of the Lunar Rover Research Challenge were announced this week with four schools selected from Alberta and Ontario. The winners will now get a chance to virtually control a lunar rover.
The funding of the Lunar Rover Research Challenge was provided by the Canadian Space Agency (CSA) and with Challenge being organized by Let’s Talk Science with partners Canadensys Aerospace and Avalon Space. It should be noted that Canadensys Aerospace was recently chosen by the CSA to build Canada’s first lunar rover.
According to Let’s Talk Science over 3500 students across Canada participated in the national competition. The Challenge students had to achieve, was to develop a mission for lunar exploration. Then, a panel of “expert judges evaluated the submissions and determined the winners.”
The judges selected four winning mission proposals. The schools selected were:
- Team Selene at Lambeth Public School in London, Ontario
- The Earthings at Burkevale Protestant School in Penetanguishene, Ontario
- Stingrays at Crestomere School in Lacombe, Alberrta
- The Goofy Goobers at Prince Philip School in Niagara Falls, Ontario
According to Let’s Talk Science the challenge and “experience was designed around five lessons, with youth learning about Canada’s role in space, planning their rover mission and exploring careers in the space sector.”
The winning teams “have the opportunity to virtually control a Canadensys lunar rover in a Moon-like environment, allowing them to interact with technology that will be part of Canada’s upcoming space mission. The classes completed a mission simulation by working as a team to drive the rover and seek out ice deposits in a mock lunar landscape.”
A couple of the teachers offered their views of the experience in a statement;
“The mission itself got students out of their comfort zone. The students who are shy and don’t like to speak publicly were able to communicate with other teams. They had to critically think about their decisions and work with other groups,” said Vandana Bhalla, London, Ontario, winning teacher on her students controlling a Lunar Rover. “Not only that, but they realized that they were a part of history in the making while coding the rover and getting the scientific readings.”
“Having detailed plans allowed me to implement this activity into the classroom and include some language curriculum as well,” said Austin Vavrovics, Penetanguishene, Ontario winning teacher on the overall project experience. “Seeing the satisfaction and interaction from my students during and after the project was exciting.”