South Dakota Mines expanded its student-centered, hands-on engineering program called CAMP by adding three new teams: the Moonrockers, the Mines Association of Rocketeers (MARS) and the Unmanned Aerial Systems Team (UAS).
CAMP is a competitive, co-curricular program at South Dakota Mines that brings together students, faculty and industry leaders to partner on challenging projects. Through hands-on learning and problem solving as a team, the nearly 500 students in CAMP are better prepared for jobs outside of college. CAMP now includes a total of 14 teams that offer students in-depth experience through a wide range of collegiate competitions.
“These three new teams allow more opportunities for CAMP students to find a project and community on campus to build their skills outside of the classroom,” CAMP Director Amy Hasvold said. “Through these new-to-CAMP teams, we are excited to expand the experience our students are gaining in electrical engineering, computer science, aerospace and mining as well as interpersonally in leadership, teamwork and communication.”
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The Moonrockers team is a multidisciplinary group that participates in space-related robotics competitions. For the past several years, the team has competed in the NASA Robotic Mining Competition at the Kennedy Space Center in Orlando, Florida. This competition challenges teams to develop a robot capable of traversing the difficult lunar terrain, mining icy regolith and transporting it to a collection hopper. Additional activities are focused on vehicle development, student professional development, teaming and K-12 outreach. This year’s competition is May 22-26 at the University at Alabama in Tuscaloosa, Alabama.
The MARS team builds rockets. Mines MARS will be competing in the Spaceport America Cup, the world’s largest Intercollegiate Rocket Engineering Competition, as part of a senior design team project in the mechanical engineering department. The competition takes place from June 19-24 in Las Cruces, New Mexico and hosts more than 140 teams from around the world. At the Spaceport America Cup, collegiate teams compete to design sounding rockets in various categories based on rocket fuel type and altitude. The Mines team will be competing in the Commercial Off the Shelf solid rocket propellant division with a target altitude of 10,000 feet.
The UAS team designs aerial robots and is headed for the Student Unmanned Aerial Systems Competition in Maryland from June 20-22. The team works to contribute to the aerial robotics community while developing the technical and professional skill sets of its members.