Last Friday, teenagers from Bethel, Chevak, St. Mary’s, and other rural Alaskan communities spent the day designing a spacecraft to Mars.
About a dozen local students were selected to attend the Bernard Harris Summer Science Camp, a two-week, all-expenses-paid program in Anchorage that focuses on technology and engineering. Students from across the state gathered at the University of Alaska Anchorage's Alaska Native Science and Engineering Program (ANSEP) to design rockets and roller coasters on specialized software. They competed in the Mars Lander Challenge this year, working to build a spacecraft that could land safely on the red planet’s surface.
The Science Camp is sponsored by ExxonMobil. It was founded by astronaut Dr. Bernard Harris Jr., the first African-American to walk in space.