NASA’s next robotic explorer to the Red Planet has many things.
- A ride to space: Launching July 2020 on an Atlas V rocket and landing in February 2021
- A new, expanded rover design: 2,300 pounds of engineering and science equipment
- A mission: To answer key questions about the potential for life on Mars
The one thing it’s missing? A name! Currently, the rover’s called “Mars 2020” but that’s a placeholder. This fall, it’s time christen the new rover with its final name for the history books. Battelle and Future Engineers are working with NASA on the Mars 2020 “Name the Rover” contest.
Students can’t submit names quite yet, the portal to sign up to become a judge is ready and waiting (https://www.futureengineers.org/registration/judge/nametherover). Judges will be responsible for vetting a few of the thousands of names expected to arrive.
Judges simply need to be a U.S. resident. The expected time commitment is just five hours. Here on the STEMx blog, we’ll be supporting the competition in three ways.
First, be sure to sign up for news about the competition, including the release of the student portal.
Second, Battelle is coordinating with a range of partners to help recruit for the contest. The following organizations have already agreed to support the contest:
- Conrad Foundation
- National Science Teaching Association, NSTA
- Association of Science-Technology Centers, ASTC
- and the STEM Next Opportunity Fund, STEM Next
Finally, these organizations are pulling together rover-related learning materials to share with educators. Have a resource you think could help? Post it in the comments below.