Public Release: 

Wanted: Grade schoolers to tackle Mars' hostile environs

Deadline extended to Nov. 30 for UH Mars Rover contest applications

University of Houston

HOUSTON, Nov. 19, 2004 - Grade schoolers with aspirations to build their own vehicles to explore the surface of the Red Planet have been given till Tuesday, Nov. 30, to sign up for the 2004-2005 University of Houston Mars Rover Competition.

Blanketed in toxic soils, seething with powerful radiation and theorized to host no intelligent civilization, this hostile planet provides many challenges, giving Houston-area students in grades three through eight a chance to create their own homemade solutions. The results will be revealed during a parade of Mars Rover models designed and constructed to carry out a specific science mission on the surface of Mars.

The annual competition takes place Saturday, Jan. 22, where the top three teams of students from 30 schools citywide will be given the opportunity to show off their models made out of found objects and simple art supplies, costing a maximum of $25.

Students were supplied with design criteria and had to complete basic research on Mars to accurately determine feasible operational and structural features for their rovers. In a previous three-hour workshop held at UH, teachers were trained to guide their students in building the models during six-week classroom-learning and homework projects about Mars.

Visit for an entry form or contact Edgar Bering, UH professor of physics and electrical and computer engineering, at or 713-743-3543.


About the University of Houston

The University of Houston, Texas' premier metropolitan research and teaching institution, is home to more than 40 research centers and institutes and sponsors more than 300 partnerships with corporate, civic and governmental entities. UH, the most diverse research university in the country, stands at the forefront of education, research and service with more than 35,000 students.

For more information about UH, visit the university's Newsroom at
To receive UH science news via e-mail, visit

Disclaimer: AAAS and EurekAlert! are not responsible for the accuracy of news releases posted to EurekAlert! by contributing institutions or for the use of any information through the EurekAlert system.