Students Develop Ideas for Mars Rover Wheels

YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio – Through a grant to Youngstown-based nonprofit Advanced Methods in Innovation, students from 11 area school districts are participating in NASA’s Gaining Traction on Mars program.

The program’s goal is to design new wheels for the Mars Rover. Students experimented with tire grips and widths through Advanced Methods in Innovation’s InventorCloud program. Models of the wheels were printed at AMI’s Maker Space at the Youngstown Business Incubator before being presented at the Cedar Point Success Bound Innovation Faire.

“Advanced Methods in Innovation is committed to create engaging, meaningful learning experiences that instills a passion for innovation, creativity and design preparing students for lifelong success,” said AMI executive director Julie Michael. “We went after the grant to bring this opportunity to our brilliant local students, giving them an introduction to NASA and challenging them to create solutions, in this case on an intergalactic level.”

In total, 450 students from grades six through 12 developed prototypes with seven teams – three from the junior high level and four from high schools –  selected to present at NASA Glenn Research Center. The finalist schools will receive a 3D printer from AMI affiliate Vista AST designed specifically for education.

“These skills parlay into any field or study discipline the student is interested in for a future career,” said AMI educational consultant Joe Jeswald. “Having this opportunity to see the process of going from a design to a working product is invaluable.”

The schools participating in the program are Valley STEM+ME2 at Mahoning County Career and Technical Center, Choffin Career and Technical Center, Rayen Early College, Lewis School, Girard Middle School, Columbiana County Career and Technical Center, Niles Middle School, Jefferson High School, Pymatuning Valley Middle School, Windham High School and Middle Schools, Warren City’s Jefferson Elementary School, and Warren John F. Kennedy High School Upper Campus.

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