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2014 Mars Rover Celebration

January 31, 2015, Primary Schools: 9:00 am-2:00 pm, Middle Schools: 1:00-6:00 pm,
Conrad Hilton Ballroom, University Hilton


Rules and Application


If you would like to enter your school into the Mars Rover Model Celebration please read the following rules first:

All Entries Are Expected to Include A Model of a Robotic Martian Surface Rover

  1. Student teams will design and construct a model of a robotic Martian surface rover. The rover will carry out a specific, student-defined science mission on the surface of Mars. The model will be small enough to fit into an ordinary grocery bag, will be designed to display on a table top, and will cost no more than $25 for model materials (excluding solar power or RC car kit).
  2. Models will be entered and judged in either the Solar Power Kit, the Radio Controlled Car (RC), or the Free-Form category.
    1. A Solar Power Kit entry is a model built using a teacher-provided Kelvin Scientific Solar Racer Kit Model 840693, a Pisco Sunzoon Lite Kit or equivalent (less than $15). The model's wheels or it's internal parts must move when the model is held up to a light source.
    2. A Radio Controlled Car model is a model that starts with a specified commercial RC model. Eligible kits include Kelvin Model 280511 and Nikko 180081 1:18 Scale Hummer H2 Remote Control Car available on line from Outpost.com as Outpost #: 4474116. These kits are the only entries allowed to use batteries. Don't overload it. It should still move. The original body can be removed. Instrumentation should be added. An unadorned original "from the box" model is not an entry.
    3. A Free-Form entry is not required to move, but hey why not? Free Form entries may use stored mechanical energy (like some wind-up gizmo), but MAY NOT USE batteries or electrical power from a wall socket (or similar shock hazard).
  3. Models must be the work of the submitting team. An adult should do any soldering unless a student has had appropriate training and is supervised. The students must do all other work.
  4. Creative use of found objects and discarded household items is encouraged - these items will be considered "no cost" ($0) when calculating total model cost.
  5. A complete entry will consist of
    1. A model of a robotic Martian surface rover
    2. A "guide" booklet describing the mission and the model on the form(s) provided
    3. A team effort plan documenting each member's contribution
    4. Receipts documenting expenses
    5. A presentation skit (less than 5 minutes) performed for the Judges during the contest.
  6. Judges will probably ask questions after the skit (less than 5 minutes).
  7. Model entries will be sorted and judged by grade-level group:
    Primary (Grades 3-5) and Middle School (Grades 6-8)
    All members of a participating team must be in the same grade-level group. Entries may come from schools, home schools, scout groups, church youth groups, or other youth organizations.
  8. Teams may consist of 1-4 students or youths, all from the same grade group. Individual entries are allowed, but we strongly encourage students to work in teams.
  9. If a school or youth group holds an internal activity to select entries, the teams should stay intact. No "all-star" teams, please.
  10. The maximum number of entries will be 120 teams in each grade-level group. Nominally, this will comprise 3 teams each from 40 entering groups. If there are fewer than 40 entering groups, all entering groups will be notified regarding number of allowed entries. Two-three adults must stay with each group entry of 3 teams and assist in crowd control or as otherwise requested. Adults exceeding the one adult per team ratio are urged to stand at the wall of the room or attend a college admission presentation.
  11. The decisions of the Judges are final.

Click here to down load the rules in either MSWord™ or Adobe Acrobat™ (.pdf) form.

Latest Draft: 06/08/2011.

Teacher Workshop Registration is here.

ENTRY FORM is here.

Click here to down load the entry form in either MSWord™ or Adobe Acrobat™ (.pdf) form.

Judge and Volunteer Sign Up is here.