MOSS POINT, MS (WLOX) - A group of high school students are getting ready to head to Huntsville, AL this weekend. They're going there to compete against engineering teams from around the world in NASA's Rover Challenge 2014.
Wyatt Davis and Carissa Lancaster, along with six of their classmates, have been working towards the Rover Challenge since last summer. Now, they are just days away from putting their creation into action; a life-size, functioning model of the moon rover.
"It's pretty cool seeing that we can recreate something that went on the moon that maybe could be used again for future generations," said Davis.
The East Central engineering group, known as InvenTeam, is only in its third year, but it's already making a big impact on the students.
"I think that if you're in this group, it's something special that you can put your time towards. Just like looking at this now, how good it looks, now. It's just like accomplishment," said Lancaster.
That feeling of accomplishment is something teacher Shawn Chesser loves to see in these students. He created this engineering club to fill a void he saw in the school system.
"It bothered me that kids could graduate high school without actually building something. So, I started looking into engineering competitions," said Chesser.
The NASA Rover Challenge has been around for 21 years, but before this year it was known as the Great Moonbuggy Race. Teams from around the globe will actually race their rovers on a course designed to be similar to the surface of the Moon. The fastest completed time wins.
For Chesser, it's all about trying to provide new experiences for his students.
"I think it's amazing. I mean it's an opportunity for these students. A lot of these students rarely get out of Mississippi, and you know, it's an opportunity for them to see a lot bigger world," said Chesser.
The two day race will be held at the Huntsville Space and Rocket Center. The entire event will be streamed live online at http://www.nasa.gov/nasatv.