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Telecom students learn media coverage at Mars Ice Challenge

Telecom students learn media coverage at Mars Ice Challenge
students tour hangar
Telecom students listen during their tour of a NASA Langley Research Center hangar.
Ray Price photos

Telecom students were lucky enough to go on an end-of-the year field trip to NASA Langley Research Center in Hampton, where they could learn about media coverage of a special event -- and also enjoy experiencing the event.

The event was the 2018 RASC-AL Special Edition: Mars Ice Challenge, which was held over a two-day period. Telecom students visited the hangar where it all happened on June 6.

According to its website, the Mars Ice Challenge is a competition wherein "university-level engineering students design and build prototype hardware that can extract water from simulated Martian subsurface ice."

That's a mouthful that describes one tiny problem that scientists need to solve if they are going to continue exploring other planets, particularly Mars, and considering the possibility of humans visiting or living there: getting water.

Teams from across the nation that were chosen as finalists traveled to the NASA Langley Research Center for the event. Whoever can get the most water out of the ice over the two days is the winner.

How does this Martian ice competition relate to Telecom students? Whether or not they are interested in going to Mars or drinking the water there, Telecom students want to learn about reporting on events such as this: gathering information, speaking with experts, relaying scientific material to viewers, video-recording, and live-streaming. The National Institute of Aerospace’s Media Communications Group was there providing media coverage of the challenge, and they interacted with the students, showing them their video equipment and how they were live-streaming the event.

Telecom students have been producing eClips™ and Subject Matter Expert videos, which are part of a NASA web series, for the past couple years. The eClips™ are short educational videos explaining scientific terms. Because of this relationship, the students were invited to see the Ice Challenge and meet the media team at NASA Langley.

The students also got a tour of the hangar and learned about its history. Additionally, the Telecom students saw the innovative equipment being used by the engineering teams and gained exposure to STEM learning in action.

Telecom Supervisor Ray Price coordinated the visit with Joan Harper-Neely, who is the STEM Education Specialist for the National Institute of Aerospace's Center for Integrative STEM Education. Price and Telecom Instructor Carl Daniels, Jr. accompanied the students on the field trip.


Telecom visits Mars Ice Challenge at NASA Langley Research Center:

Approaching the hangar Journey to Mars sign
Approaching the hangar at NASA Langley Telecom student shows off the sign
Welcome Engineering students working on project
The group is welcomed Engineering students working on their project
Telecom students view engineering designs Engineering students working on project
Telecom students view engineering designs Engineering students at work