NASA Hosting Competition for Mars 2020 Rover

NASA Hosting Competition for 2020 RoverWe spend a lot of time singing the praises of STEM skills. And we do that for a lot of reasons: they’re good for manufacturing, they’re good for careers like engineering, and really, they’re an integral part of a well-rounded education.

Although we obviously love seeing STEM skills put to use in advanced manufacturing, we also recognize their utility in other career paths (like engineering). But no matter what type of career you’re interested in pursuing, if you like the kinds of things that a STEM-focused education teaches, you’ll probably love what we have for you today.

The news? NASA recently announced plans for “an open competition for the planetary community to submit proposals for the science and exploration technology instruments that would be carried aboard the agency’s next Mars rover, scheduled for launch in July/August of 2020.”

Essentially, NASA is holding a competition to decide additional science instruments to be placed aboard the Mars 2020 rover. You can read more information about the contest on the NSPIRES site, and really see how others are putting their STEM skills to work (and how you can do the same).

This is an awesome contest–albeit one which will require a lot of research and resources as a team–for anyone looking for a new way to apply STEM skills.

And even though the design of a scientific tool to go aboard the Mars 2020 rover may seem like a long ways off from something like a high school science class, you’d probably be surprised by what you can achieve with the right amount of dedication and time.

The contest for the Mars 2020 rover isn’t the first of its kind by NASA, either. Previously, NASA held a challenge to build a Mars rover-style robot, which inspired college teams from around the country to get involved and put their STEM skills to use. In fact, a team from the University of Nebraska–Lincoln competed in the contest, and even though they didn’t win, the experience was once-in-a-lifetime.

We can thank NASA for a lot, but one thing that we’re particularly grateful for is their commitment to STEM skills and education.

The great thing about getting education in STEM skills is the amount of options you’ll have opened up for your future. From sending the Mars 2020 rover to space, to helping shape the future of advanced manufacturing, you have a lot of career paths to choose from.

Though you may not be ready to send a robot to space after one high school math class, the skills you’ll learn there will set a STEM-oriented foundation for the rest of your life.

Photo credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech via JPL