“Sunray Bobcats Ares X-Plorers” named a top team in NASA National Student Challenge

Local News

AMARILLO, Texas (KAMR/KCIT) — Sunray Middle School took home top honors in a national NASA-inspired challenge to simulate their own Mars landing.

“This little town in the top of Texas won and I said guys I told you. We can do this,” said Angaleta Crenshaw, Sunray Middle School Science and Robotics Teacher.

Crenshaw cannot help but get excited at just the mention of her “Sunray Bobcats Ares X-Plorers.”

“We have a trophy that’s coming in this week, I can’t wait. The kids are so excited,” said Crenshaw.

The trophy that is making its way to Sunray, is a reward for being named one of the top four teams in the country in the Northwest Earth and Space Sciences Pipeline NASA-sponsored challenge called “Roads on Mars.”

The challenge you ask? It was recording and creating their own Mars landing in honor of the Mars rover “Perseverance” mission that just recently took place.

“The kids brought it. The precision was unreal, for fifth graders thru seventh graders. They looked like they were mini adults working the program,” said Crenshaw.

The students designed everything from the patch to the rover to the device that collected the samples on the rover.

No job was too small for this team, which Crenshaw put a big emphasis on.

“They worked together. They talked together. They said ok, what do we do? How do we fix this problem? How do I make it work better? That was the whole thing I wanted. This is what this program is about. It says I’m a team and whatever the problem is, we’re going to solve it as a team. We’re going to make it work as a team and we’re going to be successful as a team,” said Crenshaw.

The message that Crenshaw said her team hopefully took away from this?

“You can do whatever you want and you can be whatever you want to be. We can do this and we did it. We took the top honors,” said Crenshaw.

You can check out the mission video here:


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