News for Crews — Mark your calendar for ROADS on Asteroids results!! 🗓

G’day, ROADS crews!

IT’S FINALLY TIME.  Mark your calendars for the ROADS on Asteroids Top Teams announcement.  Results will be posted to the NESSP website on Wednesday, September 8, 2021, when it strikes 12 o’clock noon in Seattle.

We know, it’s been ages since you’ve heard from us.  Dr. Winglee’s death left us very short-handed — a problem that snowballed as the year went by and tasks accreted like cosmic dust in the corners.  We are so sorry to leave you hanging for so long.  And we’re very excited to be able to bring ROADS on Asteroids, Dr. Winglee’s final NESSP challenge, to a close.

So, once again, keep your browsers at the ready for the announcement!

When:  Wednesday, September 8, 2021, 12 p.m. (Pacific Daylight Time)
Where:  www.nwessp.org

See you then!

A Bitmoji shows NESSP founding director, Dr. Robert Winglee, in rocketship.

Summer science is here!

For summer 2021, NESSP is pleased to offer several mini-missions for use in your summer camp activities in July and August.

This year we’re offering two formats to support your summer activities. We are continuing to loan supplies if you will be using NESSP activities in your camp (what we’re calling Self-Directed Mini-Missions). New for 2021 — we are offering NESSP Guided Mini-Missions, where your students log onto Zoom for a half-day virtual session with a NESSP facilitator. Supplies will still be provided if you need them for your NESSP Guided session!

Details and the registration form are available now. If you would like to run multiple mini-missions for your students, please DO NOT complete the registration form and email us directly instead.

It takes about two weeks to process and ship your supplies, so register (or email us) ASAP!

Announcing summer professional development for teachers

For summer 2021, NESSP is pleased to offer several professional development sessions for teachers — including a long-awaited return to an in-person workshop format for one of the sessions! As with our PD sessions last year, our summer 2021 sessions will take place over two days.

All sessions are free and supplies will be provided, although participants will need to provide their own computer (and internet connection, in the case of virtual workshops).

Learn hands-on STEM activities to engage middle and high school -aged students! Topics to be covered support NGSS and are aligned with NASA missions. Projects are relevant to our new ROADS challenge for the upcoming 2021–2022 school year — or can supplement your existing course.

These workshops will cover the curriculum for the companion course to our next ROADS student challenge, and as such the sessions are intended for educators currently teaching in classrooms. We will hold a workshop intended specifically for coaches/mentors of ROADS challenge teams at a later date.

Details and registration are on our website. The registration form gives you the chance to rank your preferences for choice of workshop date. We will try to put everyone into their first preference! But we do expect that the in-person workshop will be quite popular (while also having the most limited capacity), so some registrants will be placed into their second choice.

Dates

  • August 6–7, 2021 — Virtual workshop
  • August 12–13, 2021 — In-person workshop in Adrian, OR
  • August 16–17, 2021 — Virtual workshop

ROADS on Mars mini-challenge winners — Mission Patch

We are very pleased to announce the prize-winning teams of the Mission Patch mini-challenge. This goal of this challenge was:

To get creative and design a mission patch that represents themselves, their community, and their mission in the ROADS Challenge.

Congratulations, ROADS teams!!

Idaho

TS River City Team — an Opportunity division team from University of Idaho TRIO in Coeur d’Alene, ID.

Our patch is designed to reflect three things: who we are, what our goal is, and where we come from. In our community we are the River City Titans, so we wanted to tie our name into that and we decided that our team name would be Titans’ Journey to Mars or TJTM for short. The lego spaceman on Mars is centered around the overall mission of making it to and exploring MARS! Lastly, the world in the background reminds us that we come from another planet. Earth is our home.

Nevada

Golden Space Knights — An Opportunity division team from Hyde Park Middle School in Las Vegas, NV.

The base structure is made of a knight’s helmet, derived from the team’s name, Golden Space Knights. In the bottom portion of the helmet is a Desert Bighorn Sheep, Nevada’s state animal, gazing up at the sky. This symbolizes our community’s support for future expansion into space. Notice how a rocket, similar to the ones that have carried previous rovers, is soaring above the sky. This represents our mission to reach Mars to search for evidence of previous life.

Oregon

Spatium Apes — A Spirit division team from Gervais Elementary School in Gervais, OR.

Science Rovers — An Opportunity division team from Clackamas ESD in Clackamas, OR.

Helios — A Curiosity division team from South Eugene High School in Eugene, OR.

Texas

Sunray Bobcats Ares X-plorer — An Opportunity division team from Sunray Middle School in Sunray, TX.

The Sunray Bobcats Ares X-plorers are busy preparing for their ROADS on Mars 2020 Mission. SBAX designed their patch to represent the important factors of our school. Our school colors are royal blue, or as we call it “Bobcat Blue”, and gold. We put the outer perimeter our school colors with our names, logo “SBAX”, and mission “ROADS on Mars”. The Bobcat astronaut is our school mascot. The “Cats” flag is flown on game days in Sunray, TX, so proudly will it fly on Mars for our victory of being there. We wanted everyone to know that we are explorers, and our flag is planted on Mars surface to show we are here!!! The Earth is in the background which is where our journey began and our home to return.

ROBERT WINGLEE (1958–2020)

We are devastated to announce that Robert Winglee, director of Washington NASA Space Grant Consortium and of the Northwest Earth and Space Sciences Pipeline, has passed away.  He quite suddenly had a heart attack on December 24 and did not recover.

Robert was passionate about sharing his love of space and space science with others, and his impact went far beyond Seattle or the Pacific Northwest.  We invite you to join us in remembering him.  Please share your memories of Robert using #WingItLikeWinglee on Facebook, Instagram, or Twitter.

A celebration of his life will be held in the new year — we’ll share details when they’re available.

ROADS on Mars Freestyle winners

We are very excited to announce the top teams from our ROADS on Mars Freestyle Challenge!  Teams were eligible for prizes as a top overall team and as “best of” the Mission Objectives.  We are also pleased to award a few additional awards to teams who were especially deserving, and to award Special Commendations for efforts that were particularly impressive.

Top Teams for Overall Excellence in Mission Performance

Millburn Phobos — New Jersey

SPACETACULAR — Texas

COVID-19 Spirit Award

Arrows of Artemis — Montana

Eagle Mind Squad — South Carolina

Intrepid Award for Best Solo Effort

Perseverance — Washington

Best of Mission Objective #2 — Map Construction

VMI — Oregon

Exploring in the Dark — Washington

Best of Mission Objective #3 — Communication Dish

Ares Bobcats — Arizona

Best of Mission Objective #4 — Lander

The Martian PALs Freestyle — New Jersey

Best of Mission Objective #5 — Map Navigation

TEAM STILE — Louisiana

Crusaders — Washington

Best of Mission Objective #6 — Search for Life

The New Von Brauns — Idaho

Best of Mission Objective #7 — Mission Development Log

Arrows of Artemis — Montana

Best of Mission Objective #8 — Video Report

ASK Academy NASA Robotics Team — New Mexico

Special Commendations

Excellence in VR

VMI — Oregon

Superlative Team Communication

The Martian PALs Freestyle — New Jersey

Excellence in Sample Collection

TEAM STILE — Louisiana

Innovative Use of LEGO

Crusaders — Washington

Excellence in Rover Design

Perseverance — Washington

Excellence in Engineering Design & Science Methodologies

Baby Dragon — Nevada

Excellence in Robotic Engineering

Kerbal Krew — South Dakota

Excellence in Robotic Programming

VMX (Valor Mars eXploration) — Oregon

Humor in Video Production

Lost in Space — Washington

Innovative Use of Google Sites for MDL

Flight Team Excel — Maine

Resourcefulness in Mapmaking

Team 127% — Montana

ROADS on Mars mini-challenge winners — “Search for Signs of (Past) Life” (part 1)

We are very pleased to begin announcing some of the prize-winning teams from the ROADS on Mars Student Challenge mini-challenges!

Today we’re announcing a few of the prize-winning teams of the Search for Signs of (Past) Life mini-challenge. This goal of this challenge was:

To seek out Earth analogues of “signs of past life” in the team’s local environment. By searching for microbial life in their own community, team members will begin to gain experience in the detection of terrestrial life that cannot be easily seen by the human eye.

Team members were to first seek signs of methane using a handheld detector and then take a sample of the area to review under a microscope. They took video of their explorations and posted them to social media.

Congratulations, ROADS teams!!

* Not all hubs have finished selecting their top teams for the mini-challenges, and we’ll be announcing each mini-challenge on separate days. So the list below is a partial list of the top teams for this mini-challenge. Stay tuned as more winners are announced!

Alaska

Oosik’s — a Curiosity team from Kiita Learning Community in Barrow, AK.

Arizona

Aries — an Opportunity team from Tuba City Boarding School in Tuba City, AZ.

California

AMA Bros. — a Curiosity team from Hercules High School UAVs in Hercules, CA. See their prize-winning YouTube post here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UhlQRcZv2xE

DMV

  • FIRE AERO MS — an Opportunity team from FIRE – Future Innovative RIsing Engineers in Upper Marlboro, MD.
  • FIRE AERO HS — a Curiosity team from FIRE – Future Innovative Rising Engineers in Upper Marlboro, MD.

See their prize-winning Twitter posts here:

Montana

NewJersey

Millburn — a Curiosity team from Millburn High School in Millburn, NJ. See their prize-winning YouTube post here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2ZSey0o0Br8

NewMexico

Cuh-yotes — a Curiosity team from Roswell High School MESA in Roswell, NM. See their prize-winning YouTube post here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dYDMFSG3Wkw

Oregon

Texas

South Belton Middle School — an Opportunity team from South Belton Middle School in Belton, TX. See their prize-winning Facebook post here: https://www.facebook.com/southbelton/videos/2935019906516733/

Washington

WSSB Explorers — a Sojourner team from Washington State School for the Blind in Vancouver, WA. See their prize-winning Facebook post here: https://www.facebook.com/Sch4Blind/videos/1024446564601617/

Virtual

BearsInSpace — a Curiosity team from Chittenango, NY. See their prize-winning Twitter post here: https://twitter.com/CHSBearsInSpace/status/1217541708826710016

ROADS on Mars mini-challenge winners — “Landscape Morphology” (part 1)

We are very pleased to begin announcing some of the prize-winning teams from the ROADS on Mars Student Challenge mini-challenges!

Today we’re announcing a few of the prize-winning teams of the Landscape Morphology mini-challenge. This goal of this challenge was:

Study how environments are modified by the action of water that may have formed the delta, and high velocity impacts that produce the catering in the vicinity of the Jerezo crater. This component, called Landscape Morphology, is particularly relevant today where regions are being impacted by record breaking storms each year.

Team members were to first theorize their own ideas about what might have created the features of Jezero crater and then test their theories by devising and carrying out an experiment. They took video of their experiments and posted them to social media.

Congratulations, ROADS teams!!

* Not all hubs have finished selecting their top teams for the mini-challenges, and we’ll be announcing each mini-challenge on separate days. So the list below is a partial list of the top teams for this mini-challenge. Stay tuned as more winners are announced!

Arizona

The Flaming Llamacorns — an Opportunity team from Thatcher Elementary School in Thatcher, AZ. See their prize-winning YouTube post here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uVYulQ5IxKE

California

Flight Team Five — an Opportunity team from Los Angeles Academy Middle School in Los Angeles, CA. See their prize-winning Instagram post here: https://www.instagram.com/p/B6Tg7NdDfnm/

Dakotas

Kerbal Krew — a Curiosity team from Spearfish Robotics Club in Spearfish, SD. See their prize-winning YouTube post here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YGTpl5d-0MM

DMV

Montana

Nevada

New Jersey

Millburn — a Curiosity team from Millburn High School in Millburn, NJ. See their prize-winning YouTube post here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Zw3mt9D67iI

New Mexico

R4Robotics — a Curiosity team from R4Creating in Rio Rancho, NM. See their prize-winning Facebook post here: https://www.facebook.com/R4Creating/posts/2540227559588147

Oklahoma

Gobble Obble — an Opportunity team from Homeschool Group in Noble, OK. See their prize-winning Facebook post here: https://www.facebook.com/dagobble.obble.9/videos/120030312890881/

Oregon

Elbot 3000 — a Curiosity team from Stayton High School in Stayton, OR, OR. See their prize-winning Instagram post here: https://www.instagram.com/tv/B7chWxHp8uV/

Texas

Sunray Bobcats Ares X-plorer — an Opportunity team from Sunray Middle School in Sunray, TX. See their prize-winning Facebook post here: https://www.facebook.com/SBAX2020/posts/108818827324128

Utah

Patriot Robotics Operators (PROs) — a Curiosity team from Providence Hall High School in Herriman, UT. See their prize-winning Instagram post here: https://www.instagram.com/p/B6UH230Asgl/

Washington

DAB’EM — an Opportunity team from Roosevelt Elementary in Port Angeles, WA. See their prize-winning Facebook post here: https://www.facebook.com/watch/?v=2403818296599463

Virtual

Rivergold Flight Crew — a Spirit team from Rivergold Elementary School in Coarsegold, CA. See their prize-winning Facebook post here: https://www.facebook.com/watch/?v=2403818296599463

NESSP suspends in-person activities until further notice

As you are all aware, the coronavirus outbreak has been declared a pandemic and schools are being closed nationwide.

ROADS on Mars Student Challenge

We do not want students attempting to complete the challenge and running the risk of being infected. Therefore, to ensure everyone’s safety we are indefinitely suspending the ROADS on Mars Student Challenge. Your efforts will not have been in vain as we WILL restart the program once an all clear is given to health authorities — we will keep the objectives unchanged and there will still be the funded trips to a NASA Center.

We also plan on having a few additional science matter expert talks, so please stay tuned! We will announce upcoming online activities — and the restart of the challenge — as details are available.

Educator summit

We are cancelling our educator summit, planned for June 2020 in Seattle, with the hope that we may be able to reschedule for later in the summer.

Summer 2020 camps

We are putting NESSP summer camps for 2020 on hold until further notice.

Washington ROADS on Mars hub event indefinitely postponed

We are deeply sorry to announce that the ROADS on Mars hub event for Washington state is indefinitely postponed.

Other hubs currently plan to continue with virtual events, as previously announced, but updates will be posted as the situation evolves.

ROADS teams have all worked so hard and accomplished so many impressive things already during the challenge! We’re very proud of each one of you.