Education News

Mars Rover Contest Deadline Today

Today is the deadline for school-age children to enter a unique contest that combines knowledge of science and artistic skills. The University of Houston's Mars Rover competition has been going for more than a decade.

The rover contest started 12 years ago and challenges Houston-area grade-schoolers to build models of the Mars Rover. The actual competition day is January 25th, but today is the deadline to reserve a spot in the contest.

Edgar Bering is a professor of physics and electrical engineering at the University of Houston and runs the competition. He says kids in grades 3-8 are eligible to enter.  

“Because they’re building their own model and they’re designing a project to answer their own question, they’re much, much more engaged than they would be with some assignment out of a book.”

Bering says there are three categories, models made from art supplies, ones that actually move and more elaborate battery-operated remote control models. More than 600 students entered last year’s contest from three dozen area schools

“The basic minimum cost free-form model doesn’t have to work. It’s a mock-up and you can think of this as an exercise in art because it’s actually a sculpture.”

He says some students are pretty creative when they build their models. 

“One of my favorites came from somebody up in New Caney where the innards of a toilet were being replaced and so they washed and scrubbed and spray painted the old toilet parts and turned them into a most amazing rover model.”

Kids can enter online to reserve a spot in the competition at


Gail Delaughter

Gail Delaughter

Transportation Reporter

From early-morning interviews with commuters to walks through muddy construction sites, Gail covers all aspects of getting around Houston. That includes walking, driving, cycling, taking the bus, and occasionally flying. Before she became transportation reporter in 2011, Gail hosted weekend programs for Houston Public Media. She's also covered courts in...

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