Engineering Science & Tech

To the Moon Again… and Stay!

Did you hear that NASA is sending humans to the moon again? This time, they are staying.

Photo by History in HD on Unsplash

On July 20th 1969, Apollo 11 landed on the moon.

Neil Armstrong became the first human to set foot on the lunar surface followed by Buzz Aldrin while their fellow crew Michael Collins stayed in orbit around the moon. 21 hours and 36 minutes later, Armstrong and Aldrin lifted off to join Collins at the Columbia Command Module in the lunar orbit.

Fast forward to more than 50 years later, NASA is returning humans to the moon with the Artemis program.

We’re going back to the Moon for scientific discovery, economic benefits, and inspiration for a new generation of explorers: the Artemis Generation.

With the Artemis program, NASA will land the first woman and first person of color on the Moon with the goal of exploring more of the lunar surface than ever before. Ultimately, learnings from the moon missions will lead to the next giant leap of bringing the first astronauts to Mars.

According to NASA, the Artemis mission will build a community on the Moon, driving a new lunar economy and inspiring a new generation.

Sounds too far into the future? Well — work has already started!

Starting in 2022 and throughout the decade, NASA will send a suite of science instruments and technology demonstrations to the lunar surface. The one that we are the most excited about (so far) has got to be the VIPER.

What is the VIPER?

One of the most critical components of the Artemis program is the discovery of resources on the lunar surface in order to sustain human living on the moon. VIPER does exactly that.

VIPER stands for “Volatiles Investigating Polar Exploration Rover”. It’s a robot robot designed to scout for frozen water and other resources on the moon.

VIPER represents the first resource mapping mission on another celestial body.

VIPER is scheduled to land on the south-pole of the Moon in late 2023. At the size of a golf-cart, the rover venture for at least 100 days into the most shadowed regions of the moon to study and map for water ice deposits.

Photo by NASA on Unsplash

The VIPER is still in development but check out the latest prototype here!

You can now build a space rover with us!

We are hosting the 2022 edition of the Wiz Prodigy Online STEM Competition right now at Wiz Robotics. This year’s theme will be around the space rover.

Each individual or team registration will come with an at-home robotics kit accompanied by the Wiz online learning platform so you can learn to code and build your rover from scratch.

You can learn more about the 2022 Wiz Prodigy Online STEM Competition directly on the website. Be sure to also check out the amazing Cybertruck creations from the 2021 Wiz Prodigy Competition!

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Top 5 Reasons for Learning STEM

Hear it from students and teachers on why they love STEM education.

STEM has been a hot topic in education in recent years. It’s short for Science, Technology, Engineering and Math. If you mix in “Art”, it becomes STEAM. It is a merger of subjects with the goal of developing technical and critical thinking skills for modern learners.

At Wiz, we could go on for days about our love of STEM education and how we are constantly being amazed by the creativity and knowledge that our students have shown us. Instead of us raving on and on about this subject, I asked our students why they think taking STEM classes is amazing.

Here is what they told me:

It is fun! Building and being creative, what is there to not like?

“One of the best ways to learn and have fun is rolling up my sleeves and starting working. Whether it is coding, building a robot or designing a 3D masterpiece there is just an endless amount of fun.”

Photo by Wiz Robotics

“I love playing games and learning different courses. STEM is a way for me to explore my hobbies of playing games and also building games.”

The best way for children to learn is to let them be creative. Creativity drives motivation for children to learn. STEM education is one of the best ways for children to pick up new skills while having fun.

It is a great way to learn programming.

“Learning to code was scary and very confusing. It gave me the opportunity to learn by setting bite-sized goals. Learning STEM skills helped develop my coding skills.”

Learning programming can sound like a daunting task even for adults. STEM classes is a great way to break it down. Nothing motivates everyone more than celebrating small milestones.

Photo by Wiz Robotics

“I find that mixing programming with other engineering and creative building tasks made me realize coding can be fun!”

STEM lets your imagination run wild.

“I find learning STEM skills gives me an opportunity to express myself and really explore what I like to design and build.”

Photo by Ümit Yıldırım on Unsplash

“Learning about different sensors, I can link different technologies to make my own inventions!”

Future jobs and career paths.

“My parents are engineers and I see a clear path that learning STEM will help in developing my education for my future career.”

With super heroes like Iron Man, children are continuously looking up to a future in STEM fields. Starting STEM education at a young age would provide children with an opportunity to explore their interests and further develop their passion.

Photo by NASA on Unsplash

“I want to become a Robotics Engineer and learning STEM helps me understand the code all the way to the mechanical aspects.”

Robots are everywhere!

Stay calm —we don’t have robot takeovers… (yet!)

Just take a look around the house and you’ll realize that robots are actually everywhere and they are not going away any time soon.

“From exploration to AI to life saving robots, we are relying on robots more and more. I find learning STEM really connects me with what is going on in the world.”

Photo by Lenin Estrada on Unsplash

“I see robots from our vacuum to robots helping the elderly. I think learning STEM really helps me keep my eyes open to looking at new technology and robots.”

At Wiz, I get to work with really amazing technology and the the smartest, and most passionate students. We want to take STEM education to the next level by encouraging our students to incorporate more creativity and imagination in their creations. This is why we are hosting a brand new edition of the Wiz Prodigy Online STEM Competition for 2022.

The theme of this year’s Wiz Prodigy is around space expeditions. Participants will get an opportunity to create their own AI motion-controlled exploration rover using Wiz’s robotics kit. More information about the competition can be found on the Wiz Prodigy website.

We can’t wait to see what a future of STEM would bring!

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