Mexican Students win NASA contest!By Fernanda Duque Hernández
AEM: “We must believe in Mexico”
Three of 20 Mexican students who traveled to Houston, Texas turned out to be winners – in different categories – of the first edition of the United States National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) Space contest ‘Mars Trekker Global Teen Summit.’ The contest’s goal is to get young people involved in the process of developing a sustainable habitat for future NASA mission to Mars in 2030.
Competing side by side with the Mexicans were 120 students between the ages of 13 and 17 years from all around the world. Mexico’s proud winners were: Javier Rivera Monter, in the Robotics category; Fatima Paola Vargas in the category of Designing Space Tools in 3D Printing; and Yanet Josefina Arenas in Spatial Design of Habitats.
The three students hail from the state of Tlaxcala and belong to the educational pilot program of the Mexican Space Agency (AEM), Jóvenes al Espacio (roughly, 'Youth to space'), which enables them to develop their skills; encourages their interest in science; and motivates them to finish secondary school and get into university.
During the summit, which tool place at the Houston Space Center, the 20 participants were able to attend conferences hosted by scientists, engineers and specialists from NASA who spoke to them about future missions to Mars.
Though the main goal of this contest was for students from different countries to get actively involved in the creation of sustainable human settlements on Mars, it also sought to encourage the development of clean energy resources, water, food, health, mobility and living spaces.
“We must believe in Mexico and the education of its youth,” stated Javier Mendieta Jiménez, General Director of the Mexican Space Agency in a communiqué issued by Mexico’s Secretariat of the Communications and Transportation. “I firmly believe that new generations will make it possible to transform Mexico into a country with world class space and satellite developments.”
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