Southwestern Oklahoma State University students, faculty and supporters recently made the trip to Alabama to compete in NASA’s Human Exploration Rover Challenge. SWOSU finished sixth place among more than 100 high school and colleges teams at the event.

Southwestern Oklahoma State University students, faculty and supporters recently made the trip to Alabama to compete in NASA’s Human Exploration Rover Challenge. SWOSU finished sixth place among more than 100 high school and colleges teams at the event.

SWOSU Rover Team Places 6th at NASA Competition

Ten Southwestern Oklahoma State University students recently competed at the NASA Human Exploration Rover Challenge in Huntsville (AL) and finished sixth place in the college category.

The team was one of only a handful of teams that completed the new course, allowing them to place high in the international competition featuring colleges from 23 states and 11 countries.  More than 100 high school and college teams were registered for the event.

The students designed and built a human powered rover to compete in a half-mile obstacle style course at the Marshall Space Flight Center. The competition is in its 24th year and was started to commemorate the 25th anniversary of the lunar landing. 

While in Huntsville, the students also toured the Polaris Industries plant.  This plant focuses on production of the Polaris RANGER off-road vehicle and the Slingshot moto-roadster.   

Students making the trip were:  Caleb Wichert and Jay Penner, both of Corn; Jacob Steigman, Clinton; Tucker Sawatzky, Wesly Rose and Tiler Rose, all of Weatherford; W. A. White, Norman; Kathryn McDowell, Okemah; Daniel Battles, Burns Flat;  and Jacob Mason, El Reno.  Jeff Lagaly of Union City also assisted with the design and building of the rover. 

Faculty Cindi Albrightson, Madeline Baugher and Brett Chase accompanied the students along with emeriti faculty Dr. Ric Baugher and Dr. Ken Rose.  Also attending were Susan Rose and Courtney, Connor and Hunter Albrightson.

Albrightson said this year’s team would like to thank the Oklahoma Space Grant Consortium and the SWOSU Foundation for funding the rover and the trip, and Dr. Patsy Parker, Nathan Brooks and Dee Downs for their help with the team.