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November 15, 2007
The University of Nevada's University Rover Challenge (URC) team, a group of engineering and science students, is looking for recruits for next year's competition.
The URC is organized by the Mars Society, a non-profit organization dedicated to the research and development of a mission to the red planet. The goal of the competition is to design and construct a remotely controlled rover that is capable of performing a series of engineering and science tasks in the Mars-like desert of Utah. More information about the competition can be found at the Mars Society's website: www.marssociety.org.
The University of Nevada team took first place at last year's competition and is returning this year to defend its title.
To strengthen the team, the URC group is looking for engineering and science majors of all kinds, as well as journalism and business majors to help with the marketing and advertisement of the team. "We are looking for students of all disciplines who have any sort of interest in this type of project," said Jill Pocock, geophysics master's student and public relations lead. Anyone is invited to join the team.
Students participating in the competition can do so on a volunteer basis or for independent study credit. The mechanical engineering and materials science and engineering departments have courses available, and credit opportunities will soon be available for journalism and electrical engineering departments. Credits in other departments may be available under the guidance of a faculty advisor and approval of the department.
"We have projects both big and small. Any amount of time a student can contribute, we will take," Pocock said.
There is no official deadline to join the team, but students looking forward to using the credit opportunity need to make their decisions soon (before next semester). The team is ideally looking for people to sign up no later than early next semester, but late comers will also be welcomed as well.
As members of the URC team, recruits will get the opportunity to work with a group of students with a wide range of disciplines and interests; they will gain hands-on experience not available in a classroom setting, have a great extracurricular activity to put on their resumes, and will get the occasional free pizza and soda at meetings.