Zero Robotics in Maryland
Zero Robotics for middle school is a 5 week, intensive, summer camp where students learn advanced coding and programming to maneuver satellites that operate in zero gravity aboard the International Space Station called SPHERES.
Zero Robotics Middle School Summer Program is provided through a partnership between the Massachusetts Institute of Technology's (MIT) Space Systems Laboratory, Aurora Flight Sciences, and the Innovation Learning Center. Zero Robotics Middle School Summer Program is sponsored by the National Aeronautics & Space Administration (NASA) with financial support from the Center for the Advancement of Science in Space (CASIS), and the Northrup Grumman Foundation.
The Maryland Out of School Time Network has held Zero Robotics for middle schoolers in Maryland for two years.
The 2014 season
Maryland was invited to participate in the national Zero Robotics Middle School challenge presented annually by MIT, the Massachusetts Afterschool Partnership (MAP), and NASA.
As part of the 5 week program, students took part in a field trip to the University of Maryland - College Park's Clark School of Engineering where they toured the state-of-the art facilities, and met with NASA employees.
In August, Maryland's teams were invited to participate in the Zero Robotics finals at NASA Goddard Space Flight Center. During the finals, students submit their code to astr onauts aboard the Space Station who operate the SPHERES satellites in real time via WebEx presentation. For this year's challenge, COSMOSPHERES, student satellites were tasked with saving the earth from annihilation by comet! Teams directed their satellites to collect space debris or fire lasers to deflect the comet from earth while accounting for the zero gravity environment in space and diminishing fuel. Teams from across the country were connected to austronauts who were actually at the International Space Station! The astronauts tested the teams' codes in real time right in front of them. A Maryland team came is FIRST PLACE at the finals!
Congratulations to Empower Wicomico: the 2014 Zero Robotics Middle School NATIONAL CHAMPION team!
Armistead Gardens Video - Watch Baltimore's Education Based Latino Outreach (EBLO) summer campers describe their experience with Zero Robotics during the summer of 2014.
The 2015 season
After the successful first season, MOST decided to host Zero Robotics for a second summer season.