Three Mexican girls have won an international prize and a trip to Japan, where they will meet the competitors in the USD $30 million Google Lunar XPRIZE.
The three members of Team MecaLIKS, Jana Jezabel González Castrejón, 9, Jade Titania Díaz García, 12, and Ámbar Nicole Díaz García, 9, used the astronomical knowledge and the beliefs of the Maya civilization as an inspiration to design a lunar rover and five space missions for it.
As a result of their work at the robotics club Liks, where they were mentored by director Adolfo Ferrer Jaime, the three young girls from Cuautitlán Izcalli in the State of México participated with their project in the 2015 Google Moonbots Challenge along with 235 other teams from 29 countries, winning the grand prize after two selective phases, along with two U.S. teams and one more from Italy.
“Google Lunar XPRIZE for Kids” is an international competition that inspires the next generation of space explorers and innovators by inviting kids ages 8-17 to design, create and program their own lunar rover, based on a legend or theory that inspires them about the moon.
In addition to showing ingenuity and innovation in their robotic building and programming, all four grand prize winners were creative and imaginative in the way they interpreted their moon tales.
The 2015 MOONBOTS winning teams, representing three countries are:
– Team GalacTECHs (Tustin, Calif.) comprised of two girls and two boys ages 8-11, who imagined a future where it’s common practice for people to vacation at a resort on the moon.
– Linked Lunas (Fort Lauderdale, Fla.) comprised of twin sisters Hadley and Delaney, age 9. Their mission is based on a historical tale and scientific theory that hits close to home – that the Earth once had “twin” moons that collided and merged into one.
– Mecaliks (Cuautitlan Izcalli, Mexico) comprised of three girls ages 9-12, who were inspired by Mayan cultural beliefs that time is measured by lunar phases.
– Moonshot (Brooklyn, N.Y. and Naples, Italy) comprised of two boy cousins, ages 10 and 12, who live across the world from each other but share a similar interest in the moon and the way it brings people together – just as it does in their family.
Next month, the winning teams will embark upon a once-in-a-lifetime trip to Japan to meet the official teams competing for a USD $30M Google Lunar XPRIZE, a global competition to land a privately funded robot on the moon.
About the Google Lunar XPRIZE
The $30M Google Lunar XPRIZE is an unprecedented competition to challenge and inspire engineers and entrepreneurs from around the world to develop low-cost methods of robotic space exploration.
To win the Google Lunar XPRIZE, a privately funded team must successfully place a robot on the moon’s surface that explores at least 500 meters and transmits high-definition video and images back to Earth.
For more information, visit lunar.xprize.org/.
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