Title 1 Students Build Mars Rovers at the Science Center

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TITLE 1 YOUTH BUILD MARS ROVERS DURING NASA CAMP AT THE SCIENCE CENTER
Program Engages Local Students, Sparks Creativity and Promotes STEM Education

(WEST PALM BEACH, Fla.) – The South Florida Science Center and Aquarium has just wrapped up a summer camp for Title 1 youth centered around NASA’s mission to Mars. The Innovative Mars Exploration Education and Technology (IMEET) program is exposing students to space exploration, innovative design and STEM opportunities.

Twenty-Eight Title 1 high school students worked in teams to design and build Mars Rovers from June 5-16. They collaborated on designs and used 3D printers to make their work come to life, competing for the chance to send their creations to Mars. They studied principles of planetary geography, engineering, design and manufacturing. At the end of the week, they tested the designs to find out which one was most successful.

Professors from Georgia Tech hosted the camp this year, but the goal is to work with Science Center educators to have them teach the program fully by the summer of 2019, making this an annual event.

“We are beyond thrilled to expose these local, Title 1 students to out-of-this world educational opportunities,” said Lew Crampton, President and CEO of the Science Center. “Many of these teens would not otherwise get the opportunity to participate in science, technology, math and engineering programs, and this will absolutely change their lives. Our hope is they continue to pursue careers in STEM fields and change the world. We’re grateful to NASA for the more than $1 million grant, and to Georgia Tech for providing instruction.”

The Science Center also hosted a week-long professional development workshop for 5 teachers to help them introduce STEM curriculum in their own classrooms.

This program was free to the students and teachers participating, thanks to Georgia Tech and NASA. Other partners included the Kennedy Space Center Visitors Complex, the Coca Cola Space Science Center, the Aviation Museum at Warner Robins Air Force Base, the Fulton County Aviation Community Cultural Center and the Georgia Institute of Technology.

Currently on display at the Science Center is the latest traveling exhibit, Amazing Butterflies. Embark on a challenging journey teeming with friends and foes revealing the unusual relationship between caterpillars, butterflies and their natural surroundings. Adventure through the leaves, learn how to move like a caterpillar, discover an ant that reaps the reward of an unusual friendship, then transform into a butterfly and take flight!

The mission of the South Florida Science Center and Aquarium is to “open every mind to science” and the indoor/outdoor venue features more than 100 hands-on educational exhibits, a 10,000 gallon fresh and salt water aquarium- featuring both local and exotic marine life, a digital planetarium, conservation research station, Florida exhibit hall, Pre-K focused “Discovery Center,” an interactive Everglades exhibit and the 18-hole Conservation Course – an outdoor putting course with science-focused education stations. For more information on these new offerings or SFSCA general information, call 561-832-1988 or visit www.sfsciencecenter.org. Like the South Florida Science Center and Aquarium on Facebook and follow them on Twitter and Instagram @SFScienceCenter.
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