Two Indian student groups from Punjab, Tamil Nadu win NASA rover challenge

Two Indian student groups have won the NASA 2022 Human Exploration Rover Challenge that involved as many as 91 teams, including 58 colleges and 33 high schools.

According to the PTI news agency, Decent Children Model Presidency School from Punjab was the winner of the STEM Engagement Award in the High School division. And, a team from Vellore Institute of Technology in Tamil Nadu was declared the winner in the College/University division in the Social Media Award.

The challenge required US and international student teams to design, engineer, and test a human-powered rover on a course simulating terrain found on rocky bodies in the solar system. The team also performed mission assignments, including sample retrievals and spectrographic analysis, while negotiating the course.

“This year, students were asked to design a course that would mimic obstacles as if they were competing in Huntsville,” Aundra Brooks-Davenport, activity lead for the challenge at Marshall Space Flight Centre in Huntsville, Alabama, said.

The challenge is managed by US Space agency’s Office of STEM Engagement. It uses challenges and competitions to further the agency’s goal of encouraging students to pursue degrees and careers in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics fields.

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