Students from Universidad Católica Boliviana prepare to traverse the course at the 2024 Human Exploration Rover Challenge at the U.S. Space & Rocket Center in Huntsville, Alabama, near NASA’s Marshall Space Flight Center.
Credits: NASA/Taylor Goodwin

NASA announced the winners of the 30th Human Exploration Rover Challenge (HERC) April 22, with Parish Episcopal School, from Dallas, winning first place in the high school division, and the University of Alabama in Huntsville, capturing the college/university title.

The annual engineering competition – one of NASA’s longest standing challenges – held its concluding event April 19 and April 20, at the U.S. Space & Rocket Center in Huntsville, Alabama, near NASA’s Marshall Space Flight Center. The complete list of 2024 award winners is provided below:

High School Division 

First Place: Parish Episcopal School, Dallas

Second Place: Academy of Arts, Careers and Technology, Reno, Nevada

Third Place: Escambia High School, Pensacola, Florida

College/University Division 

First Place: University of Alabama in Huntsville

Second Place: Instituto Tecnológico de Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic

Third Place: Campbell University, Buies Creek, North Carolina

Ingenuity Award 

University of West Florida, Pensacola, Florida

Phoenix Award 

High School Division: East Central High School, Moss Point, Mississippi

College/University Division: North Dakota State University, Fargo, North Dakota

Task Challenge Award 

High School Division: Erie High School, Erie, Colorado

College/University Division: South Dakota School of Mines and Technology, Rapid City, South Dakota

Project Review Award 

High School Division: Parish Episcopal School, Dallas

College/University Division: University of Alabama in Huntsville

Featherweight Award 

Rhode Island School of Design, Providence, Rhode Island

Safety Award 

High School Division: NPS International School, Singapore

College/University Division: Instituto Especializado de Estudios Superiores Loyola, San Cristobal, Dominican Republic

Crash and Burn Award 

KIET Group of Institutions, Delhi-NCR, India

Jeff Norris and Joe Sexton Memorial Pit Crew Award 

High School Division: Erie High School, Erie, Colorado

College/University Division: Campbell University, Buies Creek, North Carolina

Team Spirit Award 

Instituto Tecnológico de Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic

Most Improved Performance Award

High School Division: Jesco von Puttkamer School, Leipzig, Germany

College/University Division: Universidad Católica Boliviana – San Pablo, La Paz, Bolivia

Social Media Award 

High School Division: Bledsoe County High School, Pikeville, Tennessee

College/University DivisionUniversidad de Piura, Peru

STEM Engagement Award 

High School Division: Princess Margaret Secondary School, Surrey, British Columbia

College/University Division: Trine University, Angola, Indiana

Artemis Educator Award

Sadif Safarov from Istanbul Technical University, Turkey

Rookie of the Year

Kanakia International School, Mumbai, India

More than 600 students with 72 teams from around the world participated as HERC celebrated its 30th anniversary as a NASA competition. Participating teams represented 42 colleges and universities and 30 high schools from 24 states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, and 13 other nations from around the world. Teams were awarded points based on navigating a half-mile obstacle course, conducting mission-specific task challenges, and completing multiple safety and design reviews with NASA engineers. 

“This student design challenge encourages the next generation of scientists and engineers to engage in the design process by providing innovative concepts and unique perspectives,” said Vemitra Alexander, HERC activity lead for NASA’s Office of STEM Engagement at Marshall. “While celebrating the 30th anniversary of the challenge, HERC also continues NASA’s legacy of providing valuable experiences to students who may be responsible for planning future space missions including crewed missions to other worlds.”

HERC is one of NASA’s eight Artemis Student Challenges reflecting the goals of the Artemis program, which seeks to land the first woman and first person of color on the Moon while establishing a long-term presence for science and exploration. NASA uses such challenges to encourage students to pursue degrees and careers in the fields of science, technology, engineering, and mathematics. 

HERC is managed by NASA’s Southeast Regional Office of STEM Engagement at Marshall. Since its inception in 1994, more than 15,000 students have participated in HERC – with many former students now working at NASA, or within the aerospace industry.    

To learn more about HERC, please visit: 

https://www.nasa.gov/roverchallenge/home/index.html   

-end-

Gerelle Dodson
NASA Headquarters, Washington
202-358-4637
[email protected]

Taylor Goodwin 
Marshall Space Flight Center, Huntsville, Ala. 
256-544-0034
[email protected]

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