Published: July 13, 2005

More than two-dozen metro-area high school juniors and seniors are designing and building Mars rover models this week at the University of Colorado at Boulder's eighth annual Success Institute.

The 27 participants -- mostly minority and female students - have been working on the project in small groups since Monday and will present their finished models for parents on Friday. "The students are designing Mars rovers using AutoCAD computer software and then assembling the rovers from parts manufactured in the laser laboratory at the College of Engineering," said organizer Anthea Johnson.

The following are some events that reporters and photographers are welcome to attend:

ß On Thursday, students will prepare their final presentations and test their rovers from 1 p.m. to 3 p.m. in room 150 of the CU-Boulder Engineering Center Complex's Integrated Technologies Learning Laboratory.

ß At 10 a.m. Friday, the students will have an outdoor dry-run of the Mars rovers just outside the ITLL main entrance.

ß On Friday afternoon, parents of the participants will visit CU-Boulder for presentations by staff regarding admissions and financial aid at the university and student demonstrations of the finished Mars rovers. The "Rover Run" demonstrations are tentatively scheduled for 7:15 p.m. in room 1B50 of the ITLL.

The Success Institute was established in 1998 to expose underrepresented and first-generation students to the field of engineering. Through fun, hands-on activities and interactions with engineering faculty and students, the participants are encouraged to continue their study of math and science in order to prepare for college admission.

The Success Institute is a joint initiative between the Integrated Teaching and Learning, Multicultural Engineering and Women in Engineering programs at CU-Boulder. Participants are identified through community outreach, school visits and teacher and counselor referrals.