News4Crews [Feb. 15, 2022] — Maps & math!

G’day, ROADS on Icy Worlds crews!

Thank you to those who dropped by our first NESSP Challenge Office Hours on February 2! We hope you found it helpful.  We plan to do more of these office hours — see the bottom of this newsletter for the next date!  We really love working directly with your teams to help them overcome any roadblocks.

This News4Crews is packed answers to some of the most-asked questions we got at the first office hours.  They may come in handy as your team finishes up their maps, because….

DUE DATE: Checkpoint challenge MO-02 — Map development

Remember that the checkpoint challenges are optional (that is, they do DO NOT count toward your team’s final challenge score!).  But if your team is planning to submit materials for the first checkpoint challenge, they are due THIS FRIDAY, February 18.  More details are below!

Feb. 2 office hours resources — slideshow

Here are the slides we presented during Office Hours.  They have some guidance and links that you might find helpful.

Feb. 2 office hours resources — FAQ

It’s been a while since I’ve done the type of math used in the middle school and high school options for MO-02 (Map Development), how can I help my students?

If the math is a little fuzzy, we totally understand.  We have a few suggestions:

  • Have the students approach one of their math teachers or an older student for help. Or you can ask them yourself. Or contact NESSP to schedule a time where one of the NESSP TAs can work directly with your students. You don’t have to go it alone!
  • We have created an Icy Worlds resources page with a set of links that goes over the math concepts needed to do each calculation. You can review this and/or give it directly to the students.
  • If the students haven’t been exposed to these math concepts at all, it may be better to have them either do the upper elementary option (the table with coordinates) or give them a print out of the smaller map and have them make measurements with a ruler to find the location of each feature.  Then they can use multiplication to scale those measurements for the full-sized map.

What is the red circle on the challenge map?

This is what we are calling the “area of interest.”  It is actually a region called Castilia Macula. This region is used in several of the lessons in the companion curriculum (e.g. Unit 1, Lesson 4 [Middle school material] [High school material]) so we wanted to include it in the map. There are no restrictions on driving over this region.  If anything, your students can consider the sample collected here as particularly interesting to scientists!

What do I submit for the first check-point challenge and where? Does it have to be a video?

No, you do not have to submit a video for the first check-point challenge! (Although your team is welcome to if they prefer.) We just need documentation that your team built their full-scale map. The best thing to do is to send us that portion of their Mission Development Log. You can see examples of Mission Development Logs from past challenges on our website. Keep in mind that these are the final version of previous winning teams, so your team’s submission for Checkpoint MO-02 may not be as complete as these!

The submission page is ready to go and includes detail on what to submit:

What do I submit for the final challenge materials and where?

These submissions will also be done through the NESSP website. Your team will submit a complete Map Development Log and a video showing the final challenge (drone and robot parts).  You can see examples from previous challenges on our website.

New Icy Worlds challenge resources page

We have a new page on our website with resources for ROADS on Icy Worlds teams.  Please take a look!

Save the date for the next NESSP Challenge Office Hours

Bring your ROADS on Icy Worlds Challenge questions to our next NESSP Challenge Office Hours!  There’s no formal agenda — this is all drop-in time for you to stop by at your convenience with any questions you have.  Bring your whole team or have just a few students join. Feel free to pop in with just questions, but these “office hours” are also excellent study hall times during which teams can get to work with NESSP support.

Note: We DO NOT make recordings of these office hours sessions available — because watching 90 minutes of study hall would not be interesting or useful! But as we did with this email, any slides we use and answers to the most-asked questions will be shared afterward.