Press Release

Molding fresh minds for Mars research goal of teacher workshop at UH

By SpaceRef Editor
August 30, 2004
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Deadline approaching to register for Mars Rover design, construction training
While a round trip to Mars may take three years, learning how to build a Mars Rover model takes only three hours.

A workshop to prepare teachers for coaching their students through the planning and completion of operational Mars Rover models will be held at the University of Houston 9 a.m. to noon, Saturday, Sept. 11. The deadline to sign up for the teacher workshop is Friday, Sept. 3.

Houston-area students in grades three through eight interested in science and engineering will be invited to compete in the design and construction of a model of a Mars Rover to carry out a specific science mission on the surface of Mars. Teachers will be trained to guide their students in building models during six-week classroom-learning and homework projects about Mars.

This workshop will prepare teachers who are considering entering their students in the competition by covering the details of the competition, the details of the accompanying curricula and proven methodologies for introducing and supervising the projects. Teachers participating in the workshop will be provided with a set of curriculum materials, both paper and electronic, one solar model kit and Web site addresses for obtaining more information.

The best three teams from 30 Houston-area schools will present their creations that need to be constructed mostly out of found objects and simple art supplies, costing a maximum of $25. Citywide finals of the 2004-2005 University of Houston Mars Rover Competition will be held Jan. 22, 2005.

“This competition is part of the education and public outreach component of the World Space Congress that brought together the world’s space community to chart new directions for humanity’s next decade in space,” said Edgar Bering, UH professor of physics and electrical and computer engineering. “With competitions such as this, we hope to excite a new generation of scientists and engineers, as well as put a fresh face on space exploration.”

The cost is $15, and applications are available through Bering at or by calling 713-743-3543.


Mars Rover Model Competition Teacher Workshop


Registration Deadline – Friday, Sept. 3

Workshop – 9 a.m. to noon, Saturday, Sept. 11


University of Houston

Science and Research Bldg I, Room 117

Off Cullen Boulevard, Entrance 14

Parking available in lot 15F


Edgar Bering, UH professor of physics and electrical and computer engineering

John Ramsey, UH associate professor of curriculum and instruction

Sandy Peck, Clear Creek I.S.D.

For more information about UH, visit the university’s Newsroom at

SpaceRef staff editor.