Trine Receives Grant for NASA Rover Challenge

Rachel Zink, right, who competed in the 2019 NASA Human Exploration Rover Challenge for Trine University, talks about Trine’s rover.

Trine University has received a $3,000 grant from the Indiana Space Grant Consortium to support a senior design project that competes annually in the NASA Human Exploration Rover Challenge.

The 2019-20 school year will mark the seventh that a team of students from Trine’s Department of Design Engineering Technology has participated in the competition.

The project provides the opportunity for a team of six Trine students to apply skills learned in the classroom toward a real-world challenge: designing a two-person human powered vehicle. The students also complete hands-on STEM experiences with more than 200 K-12 students in the surrounding community.

Grant funds will be used to purchase rover construction and STEM engagement activity materials, and cover travel expenses to the 2020 NASA Human Exploration Rover Challenge competition in Huntsville, Alabama, in April.

The Research and Outreach Project grant awarded to Trine University seeks to provide hands-on or project-based experience geared toward STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) workforce development.

“It is an excellent fit with the Design Engineering Technology program goals,” said Tim Jenkins, Ph.D., associate professor in the Department of Design Engineering Technology at Trine.

The Indiana Space Grant Consortium (INSGC) is one of the 52 consortia that make up the National Space Grant College and Fellowship Program. In the state of Indiana, INSGC is a source of NASA-related information, awards and programs.

The consortium seeks to Inspire public interest in aerospace-related disciplines and lifelong learning through partnerships with educators at all levels. Trine University is one of 26 Indiana organizations affiliated with INSGC.