A team of students from the Academy of Arts, Careers, and Technology recently competed in the second annual NASA Human Exploration Rover Challenge at the U.S. Space and Rocket Center in Huntsville, Ala. The team finished third overall in the High School Division—Obstacle Course with their sophisticated rover machine. The students posted the fastest vehicle assembly and race times in their division, with the fewest on-course penalties, also winning the System Safety Award for the high school team exemplifying the best safety practices.
More than 95 students from around the United States and other countries participated in this annual competition. Reno clocked in as the fastest high school team in the continental U.S.
“We’re so proud of these kids, and the awards this year build on our award-winning tradition over the past five years of participation,” said Dan Ruby, director of Fleischmann Planetarium and team advisor. “It was also great to learn ours was the fastest team from the continental United States. The event is exciting, but it’s also such an important way to support students’ exposure to future opportunities in the STEM disciplines.”
The AACT/UNR Rover Team is building on its award-winning, five-year history of achievements in the NASA competitions, including placing among the top 10 each year:
2011: Rookie Award for fastest time by a new team
2012: Featherweight Award for lightest vehicle to complete the course in under 8 minutes (high school division)
2013: Neil Armstrong Award for Best Design (high school division)
2014: Neil Armstrong Award for Best Design and First Place, Obstacle Course (high school division)
The AACT team received a $250 prize for their safety success, which they will use to help fund their participation in 2016. The winning rover will be on display at the Fleischmann Planetarium from June-Aug. 2015.
“We’re excited about the recognition of these high school students’ achievements and we hope it’s not just an experience of a lifetime, but the first of many future successes in their careers in science, technology, engineering and math,” said Ruby.