London, Penetanguishene, Lacombe and Niagara Falls students win national space competition
Students from London, Penetanguishene, Lacombe, and Niagara Falls have won the Lunar Rover Research Challenge, a new national space competition offered by Let’s Talk Science, Canadensys Aerospace Corporation and Avalon Space, with support from the Canadian Space Agency. Over 3500 youth from across Canada participated in the national competition.
Winners of the competition have the opportunity to virtually control a Canadensys lunar rover in a Moon-like environment, allowing them to interact with technology that will be part of Canada’s upcoming space mission. The classes completed a mission simulation by working as a team to drive the rover and seek out ice deposits in a mock lunar landscape.
Canadensys designed the rovers controlled by the winning teams. They recently received a contract from the Canadian Space Agency to build Canada’s first lunar rover to be sent to the moon as early as 2026.
The Lunar Rover Research Challenge allowed students to collaborate and develop a mission for lunar exploration. A panel of expert judges evaluated the submissions and determined the winners.
The following teams won the Lunar Rover Research Challenge:
- Team Selene at Lambeth Public School in London, Ontario
- The Earthlings at Burkevale Protestant School in Penetanguishene, Ontario
- Stingrays at Crestomere School in Lacombe, AB
- The Goofy Goobers at Prince Philip School in Niagara Falls, Ontario
The Lunar Rover Research Challenge will run again in the new year, with registration reopening in January. This competition is free to enter and is geared toward youth aged 11-14. Interested parties are encouraged to subscribe to the insider mailing list for exclusive project updates and tips.
The lunar rover driven by students will not be the exact model that is sent to the moon.
This project is made possible through funding provided by the Canadian Space Agency (CSA).
“The Lunar Rover Research Challenge leverages the excitement of space to allow youth to develop essential communication, critical thinking and engineering skills.”
"The mission itself got students out of their comfort zone. The students who are shy and don’t like to speak publicly were able to communicate with other teams. They had to critically think about their decisions and work with other groups," said Vandana Bhalla, London, Ontario, winning teacher on her students controlling a Lunar Rover. "Not only that, but they realized that they were a part of history in the making while coding the rover and getting the scientific readings."
“Having detailed plans allowed me to implement this activity into the classroom and include some language curriculum as well,” said Austin Vavrovics, Penetanguishene, Ontario winning teacher on the overall project experience. “Seeing the satisfaction and interaction from my students during and after the project was exciting.”
“Congratulations to this year's Lunar Rover Research Challenge winners. We are thrilled to partner with the innovative team at Let’s Talk Science to do our part in sharing this exciting next chapter of space activities with future generations of Canadian science and engineering leaders," says Peter Visscher, General Manager, Canadensys Aerospace Corp.
"We are going to see a growing amount of activity around the Moon over the coming years, with Canada’s first astronaut likely flying to the Moon in the next couple of years, and Canada’s first lunar rover flying shortly after that. It is a genuine privilege to be able to open the experience of these upcoming missions to a new generation and seeing the wonder, discovery and ambition through their eyes reminds us all of how we ourselves felt when we first began our journey working in space. More importantly, though, it offers us a precious glimpse into what future generations may make of this new opportunity, and this is only the beginning. We are looking forward to a growing number of activities and announcements across the country over the coming months as the adventure unfolds," says Dr. Nadeem Ghafoor, CEO of Avalon Space.
- The competition is offered at no cost in both French and English.
- This experience was designed around five lessons, with youth learning about Canada’s role in space, planning their rover mission and exploring careers in the space sector.
- The Lunar Rover Research Challenge launched on August 22nd, 2022.
About Let’s Talk Science
Let’s Talk Science – a leading partner in Canadian education – is a national charitable organization committed to inspiring and empowering children and youth of all ages in Canada to develop the skills they need to participate and thrive in an ever-changing world. To accomplish this, Let’s Talk Science offers a comprehensive suite of science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) based programs to support youth, educators, and volunteers across Canada. For more information about Let's Talk Science, visit letstalkscience.ca.
About Canadensys Aerospace Corporation
Canadensys Aerospace Corporation is one of Canada’s most innovative space systems companies servicing customers around the world. We blend our advanced space hardware capabilities with smart, ruggedized designs to develop unique solutions for planetary, orbital and terrestrial environments based on modern, commercial business approaches to space program and mission development.
About Avalon Space
Avalon Space Inc. is a Toronto-based space company dedicated to broadening access to and participation in the exploration and development of space. Avalon works with actors across the space exploration ecosystem, from mission developers to lunar landers & rover teams to future human missions, to help build a more sustainable, inclusive, and commercially scalable path as humanity reaches out beyond Earth orbit.
About the Canadian Space Agency
The Canadian Space Agency advances the knowledge of space through science and ensures that space science and technology provide social and economic benefits for Canadians.