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Mayfield students in NASA rover competition

Mayfield High School placed 9th out of 96 teams in this year’s annual NASA Human Exploration Rover Challenge at the U.S. Space & Rocket Center in Huntsville, Alabama.

A five-person team of MHS students Kevin Brooks, Aden Sanchez, Langdon Moore, Hailey Palacios and Karelly Stevens also placed 6th in the high school division and was the only team from New Mexico that participated in this year’s 24th annual competition, held April 13-14.

According to NASA’s website, the competition challenges high school, college, and university students to design, build, and drive lightweight, human-powered vehicles, or rovers.

The competition featured schools from 23 states, the District of Colombia, and Puerto Rico, as well as several different countries, such as Brazil, Germany, India, and Mexico.

“These students and their teachers did an outstanding job of not only representing their school, but the entire state of New Mexico,” said Superintendent Greg Ewing. “I’m proud to see our students using their talent and skills to solidify their standing as the next generation of leaders in the STEM community.

The challenge is organized by NASA’s Marshall Space Flight Center to help teach students to solve problems, experience NASA missions, and hopefully inspire and mold new generations of scientists, engineers, technicians and astronauts, according to the NASA website

This year, the challenge was redesigned this year to simulate a space exploration mission.

Students had to navigate 14 obstacles and complete five tasks throughout the half-mile course within a six-minute time limit, to simulate a limited supply of oxygen.

Each vehicle was required to not be larger than 5x5x5 feet in volume.

Points were earned by assembling the rover in the amount of time given, a lightweight rover, completing course obstacles, performing tasks, and meeting pre- and post- challenge requirements.

In recent years, the MHS team’s rankings represent the school’s strongest showing in the competition placing 18th and 8th in the high school division.

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