St. A’s students replicate Mars mission, win science fair

Science Fair winners

New Canaan: St. Aloysius School students Kaloyan Dimitrov and Andrew Tully, of Norwalk, and Alex Lanzillotti of Stamford won overall first place for seventh grade teams at the Connecticut Science and Engineering Fair, held at Quinnipiac University March 14-18.

Competing with more than 600 students, their project, “Mars Exploration,” swept several awards, including a Physical Sciences Award from Pepsico, an Excellence in Engineering award from UTC Aerospace Systems, and a First Place from the International Society of Automation. 

The students created and modified a rover using a Lego EV3, and tested it on various terrains similar to those found on Mars, which they replicated using rocks, sand and asphalt. By adding color, ultrasonic and touch sensors, their rover demonstrated the ability to detect obstacles, and change its path. Further modifications included varying the wheel type, and incorporating a forklift to assess carrying capacity.

The students demonstrated the rover’s speed, wheel effectiveness, and efficiency of the sensors based on different scenarios. Their project incorporated engineering, coding and automation, which are key components of STEM education.

Along with several trophies, medals and cash awards, the students are invited to compete in the Broadcom MASTERS, which is a national competition held in September in Washington, D.C.   For more information about the Connecticut Science and Engineering Fair, visit ctsciencefair.org.

More about the St. Aloysius School’s K-8 program can be found at sasncct.org or by calling 203-966-0786.