Mission to Mars Challenge Project Selected for NASA/STEM Showcase

Paul Cuffee School was one of eight Rhode Island elementary schools selected to participate in this year’s Mission to Mars NASA/STEM Challenge Culmination Showcase! Click here to see our students’ impressive trailer video that was presented at the Mission to Mars culmination event on Saturday, February 1st at the Rhode Island College Student Union.

This collaboration between NASA & the United States Department of Education has developed seven unique STEM Design challenges for middle and elementary student participants across America. Based upon real-life solar system exploration mission data and experiences, the projects connect educators and students in the after school programs of 21st Century Community Learning Centers with NASA scientists and engineers. Each design challenge is linked to a variety of STEM content areas, and invites teams of youth scientists to create, implement and showcase their own solutions to one of the NASA design challenges for their age group.

Working in teams with the guidance of their instructor, PCS students designed, constructed, and deployed their own drag devices in response to a NASA-defined goal of reducing the speed of a spacecraft when landing on Mars. The Mission to Mars Challenge project required students to not only prove that their devices could perform consistently and remain intact when dropped from a height of 2 meters; their whole craft could not exceed 50 grams and the cargo bay had to securely hold 10 grams of contents.

Extra thanks to Courtney Washington and Charlayne Osborne for inspiring our students’ best work!

PCS Elementary Students in the Mission to Mars project included:
Aisha, Adebiyi (Grade 3)
Amaya Aileru (Grade 4)
Ana Betancur (Grade 4)
Jaryeli Calero (Grade 3)
Amaya Carrasco (Grade 3)
Jaydalize Cortez-Pop (Grade 4)
Marcus Gardner, (Grade 3)
Xzavier Hopkins-Carpenter (Grade 3)
Leah Matamoros (Grade 4)
Jayanni Nieves (Grade 4)
Symphony Palmer (Grade 3)
Gabriel Sumilang (Grade 3)
Recardo, Tutt, Jr. (Grade 4)