Martian fever has hit CLIMB physics classes! Students have spent the last couple of weeks designing, building, and testing rovers that would survive obstacles found on the rugged terrain of the Martian surface. Following the engineering design process, students first collaborated with classmates to create a rover design that met a set of detailed specifications. Addressing many design goals including safely transporting precious instrumentation and utilizing common household items as building materials, students were challenged to think outside of the box. Test day was filled by showcasing intricate designs and vehicle construction, some surviving the test course better than others. Every student walked away with a deeper understanding of the engineering design and testing process. Students were able to make connections to units covered on velocity, acceleration and energy, supporting their test runs with detailed calculations. Beyond designing and building a rover, CLIMB classes also discussed the connection between ethics and advances in science after watching The Martian.
Dr Danielle Ladd