Gaining Traction on Mars - Overview

Glenn Engineering Design Challenges

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SLOPE Test Facility Rover Wheel Curiosity Rover Rover in SLOPE at GRC

Gaining Traction on Mars

SLOPE Test FacilityStudents will work in engineering design teams to create and test various wheel designs and materials on a standard test vehicle to determine which are most effective on a simulated Martian surface.  To understand how the test vehicle operates, students will explore the inner-workings that make-up the rover through four lead-up investigations.

Introduction video


GRC EDC Participating Organizations


Next Generation Science Standards Addressed:

Rover WheelMS-ETS1 Engineering Design

  • MS-ETS1-1:  Define the criteria and constraints of a design problem with sufficient precision to ensure a successful solution taking into account relevant scientific principles and potential impacts on people and the natural environment that may limit possible solutions.
  • MS-ETS1-2:  Evaluate competing design solutions using a systematic process to determine how well they meet the criteria and constraints of the problem.

MS-PS2 Motion and Stability Forces and Interactions

  • MS-PS2-2: Plan an investigation to provide evidence that the change in an object’s motion depends on the sum of the forces on the object and the mass of the object.
  • MS-PS2-3:  Ask questions about data to determine the factors that affect the strength of electric and magnetic forces.
  • MS-PS2-5:  Conduct an investigation and evaluate the experimental design to provide evidence that fields exist between objects exerting forces on each other even though the objects are not in contact.

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Page Last Updated: November 5th, 2014
Page Editor: David Mazza