Markham students win national space competition and chance to remotely control lunar rover prototype

A class from Markham District High School was one of four wining schools across Canada to have the chance to remotely control a lunar rover prototype that is actually going to land on the moon.

Last November, the Grade 9 gifted class participated in a national space competition called Lunar Rover Challenge. Students were in charge of controlling a rover virtually and "trying to survive" without the temperature getting too low or running out of battery life.

During the competition, the students worked in teams to navigate, send commands to the rover, monitor its condition and analyze the environment.

“It’s a really good learning experience,” said team member Nicki. "It provides something really unique; I don’t think any of us have ever done anything like this before.”

As a prize for winning the competition, they were given the opportunity to complete a mission simulation in a mock moonlike landscape, interacting with technology that will be part of upcoming space missions.

Their teacher, Sangavi Chelvanathan, is super excited for them.

“It’s a real-life application for them, rather than reading the stuff in a textbook,” she said. "They get to actually see what’s currently going on in Canada and control the prototype, as well as working with their classmates as a team.”

Scarlett Liu, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, Markham Economist & Sun