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Aug 03, 2020

Mars Rover STEM Project

An interactive racing track, created to simulate the terrain on planet Mars, is the latest innovation to emerge from our Engineering Department. The track has been designed to enable action-oriented learning for our Year 7 and Year 12 students.

In their introductory unit to Engineering, Year 7 students were challenged to design and create a Mars Rover to traverse over the simulated track. The students worked in teams to create a prototype, then utilising a CNC machine, 3D printer and laser cutter they were able to design and produce the chassis, gears, motor and wheels.

The completed vehicle was required to successfully navigate the track’s increasing degree of difficulty and complexity. Varying aspects such as stability, rigidity, centre of gravity, ride height, friction, traction, gearing and aesthetics were factors in determining the mission’s outcome.

Building on their primary understanding of the STEM project, our Year 12 students expanded their educational journey to encompass fundamental engineering concepts. Our Senior students were tasked with designing a more complex Mars Rover that included being dropped from a height, impact absorption and movement. The Rover was also tasked with performing a 180-degree survey scan before returning to the original drop point.

The Mars Rover STEM Project provided a practical and exciting look into the motion of mechanical components and automation whilst ensuring students were challenged to expand their creativity and have a lot of fun in the process.