ROADS Icy Worlds Challenge 2022

  • ROADS Icy Worlds Challenge 2022

    BMSA Explorers

    Mission Development Log MO-01


    3rd & 4th Grade BMSA Explorers Team 2022


    February 1, 2022 / 1st Meeting / MO-02

    We met for the first time and got to know each other and took our survey. Two of us are from 3rd grade and four are from 4th grade. We learned more about the challenge, Europa and our first task of making the map of Europa. We started making our grid for our map and plotted our 1st data point, Landing Zone #1.  Slides we used.   "I felt that I was part of a team. I felt excited, scared, happy and nervous. What was challenging was making the measurements and what was easy was making the shapes." Sarah

    Grid work


    February 8, 2022 / 2nd Meeting / MO-02

    We continued to work on the map today. We took turns plotting the points and doing our best to not get in each other's way. It was a little hard to keep the meter sticks straight when we were bringing two points together. "Something that was challenging about doing the map was marking the measurements because if we messed it up just a little then everything would be off." Koda



    Checkpoint MO-02 Map of Europa Landing Sites February 11, 2022 Labeling Map

    A few of us were able to work on labeling and adding color to our map in STEM class. 

    Completed Map Slide of MO2

    Certificate of Recognition



    February 24, 2022 / MO-03

    We explored rocks and the cores of Earth and Europa on websites and wrote down our wonder questions. We learned about mass, volume and density and then used scales, graduated cylinders and calculators to find the density of each type of rock we brought or borrowed. Then we looked at the data and organized it from least dense to most dense and wondered why obsidian and basalt were so similar when they looked so different and were different sizes. We revisited our wonder questions and found that some of them had been answered with the experiment. For example, the pumice floated and one of us had predicted that it would while others thought it would sink. "Something I learned was the density of rocks are different and how we could use the graduated cylinders to measure them. It was challenging for us BMSA Explorers to use these measuring tools for the 1st time for some of us." Jett 

    ROADS Rocks  ROADS Wonder  R WWS2   RDS Data   Data Analysis


    March 3rd, 2022 / MO-03

    We explored the densities of liquids, compared them to the densities of the rocks we looked at last week and talked about how that relates to our pictures of Earth's and Europa's layers. We began by asking questions and making predictions about how dense the layers might be in the different layers of Earth and Europa. We predict that the core is less dense than the outer layers since they appear to be more like liquids. " Today, I learned that the thickness of liquids matters and because of that I can hypothesize how Earth's layers may be like Europa's. Europa has a crust like Earth and each layer has a purpose just like Earth's". Ophelia 

    ROADS Liquids    liquids


    March 9th, 2022 / MO-05

    We spent our time observing images and making claims based on evidence of whether the items were alive, not alive or once from life. We worked on trying to imagine what types of life forms we might be looking for on Europa and how we might collect them. We looked at microscopic sand particles and yeast reacting with hot water and discussed what types of life forms we might find in different places on Europa. 

    Living/Non-Living/Once Lived Exploration

    Seesaw Living/Non-Living/Once Lived Sorting Activity



    March 15, 2022 / MO-06 & MO-07

    Today we got into two different groups and began building our robot and learning how to fly the drone. Our rover group has little bit of a struggle with sharing jobs and responsibilities but in the end we divided up the jobs and started making progress. Some of us had experience with the models and we were able to show the others how to begin building. We wanted to make a rover that could pick up something and not just drive around. Our drone team worked well together and took turns flying. "What we learned when we flew the drone is if there is any wind it will take control over the drone. Also, if you get too excited you will lose your focus. This will cause you to make the drone go everywhere. Tip: Never let the drone go too far away from you or let it out of your sight." Teegan

    robot     drone   


    March 29th, 2022 / MO-06 & MO-07 & MO-10

    Today, our teams switched roles and when the drone batteries lost their charge, we began working on our individual mission patch ideas. Soon we'll come together, share those and work as a team to design a single patch representative of our group of 7. "Being in ROADS is a lot of problem solving but in the end it was fun. I would like to give a shoutout to Dawson and Hector from my class who helped me with coding." McKenzie


    drone 2   robot 2   mission patches 


    April 4th, 2022 / MO-06 & MO-07 & MO-08

    Today we began by trying to research some systems that could help our model of drone carry a load. Then we watched some video clips about drones, drone safety and talked about the criteria and constraints for our upcoming challenge of dropping off supplies onto our map and then picking them up with the rover. Team members have been working on both parts of the mission and today we got together to brainstorm a system that would allow us to drop supplies from our drone. We tried working with some different kinds of supplies like fruit baskets, foil pans, styrofoam cups and different types of string. We had some epic fails when the loads were too light and got caught up in the drone air flows and then when they were too heavy and couldn't lift up. 

     Researching  Drone Lessons   Brainstorming  Critieria and Constraints  Testing




    Wing It Like Winglee Checkpoint MO-06 April 4th, 2022

    This was the day of our Wing it Like Winglee Challenge. We didn't know it until after it was over. We researched possible ways to change our type of drone to carry a load but none of it seemed to fit for our model. We took turns brainstorming and sharing out ideas and then tried to built a couple different systems. They were too heavy, not heavy enough or making it hard to fly the drone. We tried using a fruit basket, a foil basket and Legos to lift with our drone and it kept acting crazy, flying in weird patterns, getting tangled up and crashing to the ground. The picture below is the funny reaction we kept having and the Legos were flying everywhere. We talked about using different materials for the base that was heavier and the strings that we were using to attach it to the drone. We started with thin yarn and then tried heavier string. We decided to keep trying the foil base but added more Legos for weight. It didn't seem to matter. It just didn't fly well. Back to the drawing board. We wondered if we could just lift the Lego's and not have it in the basket? We wondered what type of material we could use that might be stronger than string but still flexible? Pipe cleaners? We're each going to work on some ideas before coming back together next week. We thought our picture looks a lot like what Dr. Winglee's might when he said "Stand back! I'm about to do science!"





    April 13th, 2022 / MO-06 & MO-07 & MO-08

    ROADS Team 2   

    Congratulations to our BMSA ROADS Icey Worlds Challenge Team! For their first project of creating a map of Europa they won the Top Team award in their age division and if you see them around wish them good luck because they have their final challenge today. They have conducted experiments, learned how to fly drones and built a rover. They've shown a great commitment to collaboration, communication, critical thinking and creativity and we couldn't be prouder of them. For their final challenge they have had to design a payload, pick it up with the drone, drop it on a landing zone and then retrieve it with the rover. Good Luck to our BMSA Explorers as they tackle their final challenge!
    The 4th graders used their "specials" time and lunch time today to work on getting us ready for our final challenge tomorrow. Everyone is working so hard! They built their final payload, practiced with our map, modified the drone and got the program ready to run the rover. Excited for us to all be together tomorrow to try it all out! 
    April 14th, 2022 Final Challenge Day MO-06, MO-07, MO-08 & MO-10
      Final Challenge Reflections:
    Sarah 3rd: I felt great about this challenge. When I finally knew about this challenge and how to do it, it made me feel confident and it made me feel like I finally know a lot about Europa and can teach others about it. 
    Apollo 3rd: The challenge was fun and it was also hard. In the end, we did good but when I first got in I felt it was a little bit hard but in the end I'm happy in what we did. 
    Ophelia 4th: I enjoyed the challenge, it was fun to experience the trial and error that happened. I really liked doing the teamwork and everything. Overall I really liked the experience and I'm very glad to have experienced such fun. 
    Teegan 4th: Doing ROADS was a fun experience. I thought that the team was a good team and they helped me a lot. The drone part of it was my favorite out of them all. I learned a lot from this experience. 
    Jett 4th: The experience possibly could have been better. As like there maybe could have been more building like actually building the drone too. 
    Koda 4th: I got to work with a team and getting to know people and meet people I didn't know before was something I liked. I challenged that they challenged my brain to think in a way that I didn't think of using before. 
    McKenzie 4th: I liked being on the team because they helped me when we had problems to solve. I liked building the robot and getting to fly the drone. ROADS is amazing!
    Picture Explanations:
    • Tried a new model to lift. Didn't work so well so we went back to the Lego's. The Lego's represent a robot that we are dropping for the rover to retrieve and use at the sample sites.
    • A couple picks of our final rover design/build. We added robotic arms to possibly pick up the robot.
    • We came in at lunch and recess to make finishing touches on our mission patch and load design.
    • A picture of our mission patch sketches for inspiration and then the final digital mission patch design. MO-10
    • Ready for the Challenge to Begin!                   
    • Landing Zone Pic 1 from drone camera.       
    • Landing Zone Pic 2 from drone camera.
    • Our code for the rover.
    • Video of mission attempt. We had some trouble on this drone landing and the crumbled map made it hard for the rover to track but we visited sample site 1, sample site 4 and then ended in the second landing zone. 
    New Model   Model Rover   rover 2 
    Lunch time work   Mission patch sketches    Mission Patch Design
    Ready for Challenge   Landing Zone Pic   Landing Zone Pic2 code code2
    BMSA Explorers - Video of our final challenge tests.