Education

Sending robot swarms to space? Stennis needs your help

The John Stennis Chapter of the Air Force Association named Gulfport engineering and robotics teacher Clinton Brawley its 2016 Teacher of the Year. Brawley and his students often take part in STEM-related competitions. The NASA Swarmathon is for high school STEM students on the Coast.
The John Stennis Chapter of the Air Force Association named Gulfport engineering and robotics teacher Clinton Brawley its 2016 Teacher of the Year. Brawley and his students often take part in STEM-related competitions. The NASA Swarmathon is for high school STEM students on the Coast. amccoy@sunherald.com File

The sky is the limit for area high school STEM students.

Stennis Space Center is asking science, technology, engineering and math students to step up to a unique challenge that comes with an even more interesting reward.

Their robotics work could be launched into space as part of NASA space missions to explore new worlds.

The objective of the NASA Swarmathon competition is to help students develop skills in robotics and computer science. The challenge also advances NASA technology for future space exploration efforts.

Students will develop small robotic swarms that can operate independently or as a coordinated group — like ants. Such swarms can be used by explorers on other planets to search for and collect resources, the Stennis Education Office said in a press release.

Stennis has openings for 20 Mississippi or Louisiana teams. Feb. 15 is the deadline to enter. Teams must have a faculty mentor and coach.

Tutorial modules will be available for competing students.

Find more information on the competition on NASA’s website, nasaswarmathon.com/outreach

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