Parish NASA Rover Team members Sophie Alford, Katie Wall, Whitney Wheeler, and Madalyn White share the challenging journey the team has taken the last two years. As a first year team that finished near last place with a rover that didn’t roll, who with hard work and resilience transformed themselves into a competitive team that received the Neil Armstrong Award for Best Design. Their narrative parallels the overwhelmed and confused feelings middle school students experience daily. The secrets to success the team found with the rover are the same needed for not just surviving but thriving in middle and high school.
The last two years, the Parish Episcopal School NASA rover team has been the only team from Texas to compete in the NASA Human Exploration Rover Challenge held at the U.S. Space & Rocket Center in Huntsville, AL. This team made up almost entirely of girls designed and built the rover seen in the presentation. The student rovers are raced around a 3/4 mile obstacle course that simulates the lunar and Martian surface, and collapse to fit into a 5 ft cube. This student driven program is one of many exciting options available to students as part of the school’s PreK – 12th STEM program. The 2015 Parish Rover team was recognized as the most improved high school team and are the recipients of the Neil Armstrong Award for Best Design.