News4Crews [April 14, 2022] — Mission video deep dive

G’day, ROADS on Icy Worlds crews!

We’ve gotten a few questions about exactly what does and does not go into the video portion of the final submissions, so here are some tips.

Recipe for an Icy Worlds mission video

MO-03: Inside Europa model (page 33 in the manual) — Is it required to include your Europa model in your video?  That depends!  Your team should have already documented your experimentation and findings in your MDL.

  • If your model and explanation are 2D (such as a drawn diagram and written explanation), include those in your MDL.
  • If your model is 3D, you can include photos in your MDL or include shots of it in your team’s mission video submission.

MO-06: Landing site/ drone landing (page 36 in the manual) — Your video should include the entire drone process, from checking that it’s working and securing the payload, then drone takeoff, taking a picture of the landscape and choosing your landing site, and finally navigating to the landing site, dropping the payload, and flying the drone back to base for shutdown.  If your team is substituting another system to simulate the drone flight (such as flight-on-a-string), include video of that process.

✨ Note!  The rest of the Mission Objectives on the list are scored as separate MOs on the scoresheet, but in your video they will be shown as just one action sequence.

MO-07: Surface navigation (page 37 in the manual) — Show us everything from swapping out your payload for your rover through all of the rover’s maneuvers.

MO-08: Sample collection (page 38 in the manual) — Show us your rover collecting samples and placing them in the landing site.  Pay close attention to the information in the manual to choose the appropriate sample collection for your team (such as middle school versus high school, or the size of your rover and how many samples it can carry).

Voyager (high school) teams only > MO-09: Advanced surface navigation (page 39 in the manual) — Show us your rover taking color readings and then returning to the landing site.

Is editing allowed?

Each Mission Objective should be shown on video as one single, unedited shot.  This means that your drone flight needs to be one shot from beginning to end.  Your rover maneuvers also need to be shown in one single, uninterrupted shot.  You absolutely may record as many drone flights and rover maneuvers as you want and then pick the best one!  But you cannot pick the best sections from several different rover videos and edit them together.

Once you’ve selected your videos for each of the MOs to be included, THEN put them together to create one video representing the team’s attempt at the final challenge from beginning to end.

How long can our video be?

The drone flight plus the rover maneuvers together should take a maximum of about 12 minutes.  If your team is also showing their explanation of their Europa model, then about 15 minutes maximum should cover it.  You don’t have to be exact — a few seconds over is okay.  But, truly, it shouldn’t need to be longer than 12-15 minutes.

Have more questions about the final submission?

First, review the info again on the final submissions webpage.

If that doesn’t answer your question, see if we might have covered it in yesterday’s News4Crews, which is available on our website.  We are also keeping a list of questions asked and answered on our Final Q&A webpage.

And if you’re still left wondering, you can drop us an email up to 5:30 p.m. tomorrow, Friday, April 15 — nwessp@uw.edu

News4Crews [April 13, 2022] — Final submissions due FRIDAY, FRIDAY, FRIDAY

G’day, ROADS on Icy Worlds crews!

This is it!!  Final submissions are due this Friday, April 15!

Wait!  I have a question!!

No worries!  We’re still here to answer your questions up until 5:30 p.m. on Friday afternoon.

Where do we submit?

Make your final submission on this page — https://www.nwessp.org/icyworlds/submissions/final/ .  The submission form is live right now, so you can upload your files whenever you’re ready.

And you don’t have to submit all of your materials at once.  If your MDL is ready but your video will take a little more time, go ahead and send us the MDL now and submit the video later (but still by the end of the day on Friday, April 15!).

I forgot our team number!!

Don’t panic!  Just drop us an email (you can reply to this newsletter!) and ask us to look it up.  We’re keeping a close eye on our inbox this week, so we should get back to you pretty quickly — although remember that staff will log off by 5:30 p.m. on Friday, so we won’t be able to answer you after that!

Don’t forget the scoresheet

Each team’s challenge run needs to be scored by a local scorer.  The scoresheet is a Google Sheet, so you’ll need to make a copy in your own Google Drive or download it as a spreadsheet.  You can find the scoresheet here (this is also linked in the instructions on the final submission page):

https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/1A745BbzsvFdO3qeT5CQXGbmVkYHm8BwvKBL1es_Yw-c/edit?usp=sharing

Team names and member names

We use the info we collect in the “team name” and “member names” fields to generate the certificates that teams receive for their final submissions, so double-check for typos!

We didn’t quite get everything done — should we bother submitting??

Yes!!  It’s okay to not quite achieve everything.  Please do submit what you have accomplished because we give awards for “Best of Mission Objective.”

Do we have to submit for “Wing it Like Winglee”?

Nope!  This is a Checkpoint Challenge, so a submission for it is entirely optional.  But it’s always a really useful habit to spend time looking at what went wrong, troubleshooting why it went wrong, and brainstorming how you can avoid that in the future, so we encourage teams to consider a submission for this checkpoint.  Plus, we’re giving prizes!

🌟 🌟 🌟

Now — take a deep breath, have a glass of water, and just do your best.  If you get stuck, ask yourself, “What would Dr. Winglee do?” and just wing it.

PS — Who wants a prize reveal??

This year the prize for top teams is … a trip to Kennedy Space Center in July! That’s right — this July!! Top teams from ROADS on Icy Worlds will have the chance to join top teams from our previous challenges on our trip to Kennedy July 5-8, 2022. Details will be available when we announce the top teams.

News4Crews [April 4, 2022] — Meet an Expert! One last Office Hour session before final submissions!

We are in the home stretch!  Final challenge submissions will be due in just 11 days.  This week we have one last Meet an Expert and next Monday we’ll have one more Office Hour session.

Meet an Expert — Britney Schmidt

For our next Meet an Expert chat, we are very excited to host Britney Schmidt, a professor at Cornell University who studies arctic ice on Earth to better understand the icy worlds in our solar system.

Details

Next NESSP Challenge Office Hour — Monday, April 11

Bring your ROADS on Icy Worlds Challenge questions to our next NESSP Challenge Office Hour!  This session will be all about final submissions.

Our office hour sessions operate in two parts:

  • The first hour — 3-4 p.m. (Pacific Time) — will be open time for drop-in guests. Feel free to stop by our Zoom anytime during the first hour and staff from NESSP will be on-hand to answer your questions about the ROADS on Icy Worlds Challenge.
  • The second hour — 4-5 p.m. (Pacific Time) — is available only if we’ve had any advisors or teams who have signed up in advance. You can still stop by with drop-in questions! But if we have no one signed up, we will close the Zoom early. We do ask you to sign up by 4 p.m. (Pacific Time)! This just really helps us plan these Office Hour sessions.

You can also submit a question in advance!  Use this form to sign up for the second hour and/or submit your question:

https://www.nwessp.org/icyworlds/office-hour/sign-up

How do I know if anyone is coming? We have a public spreadsheet listing sign-ups and questions right here!

https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/1L6Gllx1v-X8qLlcdvWj1g-Rt6n0xafV98VpDutDfvhc/edit#gid=0

ALSO — For all questions asked in advance, we’ll put the answer in this public spreadsheet so that everyone can benefit.

Reminder:  We do not record these Office Hour sessions.  Please check the spreadsheet for questions and answers.

Details

  • Monday, April 11, 2022
    • DROP-IN:  3-4 p.m. (Pacific Time)
    • BY APPT:  4-5 p.m. (Pacific Time)
  • Live on Zoom

News4Crews [March 15, 2022] — Meet an Expert from Europa Clipper!! (And don’t forget Checkpoint Challenge MO-05)

G’day, ROADS on Icy Worlds crews!

This is a BIG WEEK, with both a Meet an Expert chat with a flight software engineer from the Europa Clipper mission and a Checkpoint Challenge deadline.

Slides from the March 9 Office Hour session

The slides that Dr. Snowden presented at our March 9 Office Hour session are now available!  These are a great refresher on Icy Worlds MO-05, the yeast ID card, in particular and, in general, on how to design a good experiment. 

Slideshow on Google:

https://docs.google.com/presentation/d/1s5oXbrHf9G8hTb7gMBSOgCXHX7P2LgUyFhD4718YJ04/edit#slide=id.p

Meet an Expert — Mishaal Aleem

For our next Meet an Expert chat, we are very excited to host Mishaal Aleem, flight software engineer at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Lab working on the Europa Clipper mission!  We really hope you’ll join us on Thursday, March 17, to chat with Mishaal about her journey from Renton, Washington, to JPL and Europa Clipper.

Details

DUE DATE:  Checkpoint challenge MO-05 — Yeast ID card

Remember that the checkpoint challenges are optional (that is, they do DO NOT count toward your team’s final challenge score!).  But if your team is planning to submit materials for the second checkpoint challenge, they are due this Friday, March 18.

What’s due?

  • Your yeast ID card

Checkpoint Challenge MO-05 submission page:
https://www.nwessp.org/icyworlds/submissions/checkpoint-mo-05/

News4Crews [March 8, 2022] — March’s ROADS important dates

G’day, ROADS on Icy Worlds crews!

March is roaring in like a lion with a whole bunch of NESSP important dates in just the first two weeks.  Whew!

Next NESSP Challenge Office Hour

Bring your ROADS on Icy Worlds Challenge questions to our next NESSP Challenge Office Hour! This week we’ll be specially covering MO-05, the yeast ID card, because that’s the next Checkpoint Challenge due. But, of course, ask us any question that will help your team in the challenge! 

Our office hour sessions will now operate in two parts:

  • The first half hour — 4-4:30 p.m. (Pacific Time) — will be open time for drop-in guests. Feel free to stop by our Zoom anytime during the first half hour and staff from NESSP will be on-hand to answer your questions about the ROADS on Icy Worlds Challenge.
  • The second half hour — 4:30-5 p.m. (Pacific Time) — is available only if we’ve had any advisors or teams who have signed up in advance. You can still stop by with drop-in questions! But if we have no one signed up for the second half hour, we will close the Zoom at 4:30 p.m. We do ask you to sign up by 4 p.m. (Pacific Time)! This just really helps us plan these Office Hour sessions.

You can also submit a question in advance!  Use this form to sign up for the second half hour and/or submit your question:

https://www.nwessp.org/icyworlds/office-hour/sign-up

How do I know if anyone is coming? We have a public spreadsheet listing sign-ups and questions right here!

https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/1L6Gllx1v-X8qLlcdvWj1g-Rt6n0xafV98VpDutDfvhc/edit#gid=0

Reminder:  We do not record these Office Hour sessions, but if we have any frequently asked questions we will circulate answers to those a day or two after the session.

Details

  • Wednesday, March 9, 2022
    • DROP-IN:  4-4:30 p.m. (Pacific Time)
    • BY APPT:  4:30-5 p.m. (Pacific Time)
  • Join us live on Zoom

Upcoming Meet an Expert chat

We’re very excited to have Mishaal Aleem, a flight software engineer for Europa Clipper, with us for our next Meet an Expert chat!  Join us on Thursday, March 17, at 4 p.m. (Pacific Time) for Mishaal’s talk.  Full details next week!

DUE DATE:  Checkpoint challenge MO-05 — Yeast ID card

Remember that the checkpoint challenges are optional (that is, they do DO NOT count toward your team’s final challenge score!).  But if your team is planning to submit materials for the second checkpoint challenge, they are due next Friday, March 18.

News4Crews [Feb. 15, 2022] — Maps & math!

G’day, ROADS on Icy Worlds crews!

Thank you to those who dropped by our first NESSP Challenge Office Hours on February 2! We hope you found it helpful.  We plan to do more of these office hours — see the bottom of this newsletter for the next date!  We really love working directly with your teams to help them overcome any roadblocks.

This News4Crews is packed answers to some of the most-asked questions we got at the first office hours.  They may come in handy as your team finishes up their maps, because….

DUE DATE:  Checkpoint challenge MO-02 — Map development

Remember that the checkpoint challenges are optional (that is, they do DO NOT count toward your team’s final challenge score!).  But if your team is planning to submit materials for the first checkpoint challenge, they are due THIS FRIDAY, February 18.  More details are below!

Feb. 2 office hours resources — slideshow

Here are the slides we presented during Office Hours.  They have some guidance and links that you might find helpful.

Feb. 2 office hours resources — FAQ

It’s been a while since I’ve done the type of math used in the middle school and high school options for MO-02 (Map Development), how can I help my students?

If the math is a little fuzzy, we totally understand.  We have a few suggestions:

  • Have the students approach one of their math teachers or an older student for help. Or you can ask them yourself. Or contact NESSP to schedule a time where one of the NESSP TAs can work directly with your students. You don’t have to go it alone!
  • We have created an Icy Worlds resources page with a set of links that goes over the math concepts needed to do each calculation. You can review this and/or give it directly to the students.
  • If the students haven’t been exposed to these math concepts at all, it may be better to have them either do the upper elementary option (the table with coordinates) or give them a print out of the smaller map and have them make measurements with a ruler to find the location of each feature.  Then they can use multiplication to scale those measurements for the full-sized map.

What is the red circle on the challenge map?

This is what we are calling the “area of interest.”  It is actually a region called Castilia Macula. This region is used in several of the lessons in the companion curriculum (e.g. Unit 1, Lesson 4 [Middle school material] [High school material]) so we wanted to include it in the map. There are no restrictions on driving over this region.  If anything, your students can consider the sample collected here as particularly interesting to scientists!

What do I submit for the first check-point challenge and where? Does it have to be a video?

No, you do not have to submit a video for the first check-point challenge! (Although your team is welcome to if they prefer.) We just need documentation that your team built their full-scale map. The best thing to do is to send us that portion of their Mission Development Log. You can see examples of Mission Development Logs from past challenges on our website. Keep in mind that these are the final version of previous winning teams, so your team’s submission for Checkpoint MO-02 may not be as complete as these!

The submission page is ready to go and includes detail on what to submit:

https://www.nwessp.org/icyworlds/submissions/checkpoint-mo-02/

What do I submit for the final challenge materials and where?

These submissions will also be done through the NESSP website. Your team will submit a complete Map Development Log and a video showing the final challenge (drone and robot parts).  You can see examples from previous challenges on our website.

 New Icy Worlds challenge resources page

We have a new page on our website with resources for ROADS on Icy Worlds teams.  Please take a look!

https://www.nwessp.org/icyworlds/resources/

Save the date for the next NESSP Challenge Office Hours

Bring your ROADS on Icy Worlds Challenge questions to our next NESSP Challenge Office Hours!  There’s no formal agenda — this is all drop-in time for you to stop by at your convenience with any questions you have.  Bring your whole team or have just a few students join. Feel free to pop in with just questions, but these “office hours” are also excellent study hall times during which teams can get to work with NESSP support.

Note:  We DO NOT make recordings of these office hours sessions available — because watching 90 minutes of study hall would not be interesting or useful!  But as we did with this email, any slides we use and answers to the most-asked questions will be shared afterward.

Details

News for Crews — Join us tonight for an expert chat about Europa!

G’day, ROADS on Icy Worlds crews!

Don’t forget — tonight is our expert chat with Marshall “Moosh” Styczinski, who’s going to talk about studying the oceans inside Europa. If you can’t join us at 4pm Pacific Time today, you can always review the recording on our Icy Worlds resources page, or on our YouTube or Facebook.

Meet an Expert — “How to study the oceans inside Europa”

How do we study an ocean that’s inside the icy crust of a moon that’s millions of miles away? Join us on Thursday, February 10, for “How to study the oceans inside Europa”! Our speaker will be Marshall “Moosh” Styczinski, who graduated from the University of Washington with a Ph.D. in physics in 2021 and is currently a postdoctoral fellow at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Lab.

Details

News for Crews — February event reminders

We have two great events coming up this first half of February and we do not want you to miss them.

Challenge “open workshop” & TA session

Need a little advice as we get started on this new ROADS challenge? Bring all your questions to our open workshop and TA session next week!

There’s no formal agenda — this is all drop-in time for you to stop by at your convenience with any questions you have. We will start out by introducing MO-01 and MO-02, but your team can work on and get help with any of the mission objectives.

Bring your whole team or have just a few students join. Feel free to pop in with just questions, but we are also hoping to make this an active workshop during which the teams can get to work with NESSP support. We can help your students with the math of MO-02 or we can assist them as they start building their final map.

If they are map building, we suggest students have their supplies (e.g. rulers, meter sticks or measuring tape, graph paper, and masking tape or pencils to draw on foam or poster board.)

Details

Meet an Expert — “How to study the oceans inside Europa”

How do we study an ocean that’s inside the icy crust of a moon that’s millions of miles away? Join us on Thursday, February 10, for “How to study the oceans inside Europa”! Our speaker will be Marshall “Moosh” Styczinski, who graduated from the University of Washington with a Ph.D. in physics in 2021 and is currently a postdoctoral fellow at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Lab.

Details

News for Crews — ROADS on Icy Worlds “open” workshop & TA session on Feb. 2!

Need a little advice as we get started on this new ROADS challenge? Bring all your questions to our open workshop and TA session next week!

There’s no formal agenda — this is all drop-in time for you to stop by at your convenience with any questions you have. Dr. Snowden, Associate Director Mary Denmon, and some of our teaching assistants from the University of Washington will be on hand to give advice and troubleshoot.

Questions about getting started on Mission Objective 02, map development, are especially encouraged.

Details

News for Crews — First ROADS on Icy Worlds expert chat announced

Bringing you two cool things today. First up — we’re excited to announce our first subject matter expert for the challenge! Join us on Thursday, February 10, for a talk from Marshall Styczinski on “How to study the oceans inside Europa.” The chat will be 4–5 p.m. (Pacific Time). Full details are on this page.

And second, if you weren’t able to make the Mission Advisor workshop earlier this month, we have the video and the slides online and ready for you to peruse at your leisure on this page.

That’s all for now, crews!  Stay safe, keep your rovers at the ready, and above all — have fun!