Students’ Mission to Mars

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Students in Cornwall have enjoyed an out of this world experience as they grappled with a Mars Rover.

Completed over the space of a week, the Mission to Mars Work Experience ran by Software Cornwall gives students an opportunity to engage with software development in a meaningful way.

Robert Wiltshire is part of Software Cornwall’s Schools Education Outreach Project team and said with no prior knowledge needed, students “just need an eagerness to participate”.

“Students are slowly given the information to develop, at their own rate and under their own direction, the commands necessary to make a Martian Rover autonomous,” he continued.

“To make it even more interesting students work in teams of four against each other as start-up companies.”

The whole challenge is broken down into small chunks, stories, and on completion of each ‘Core Coin’ currency is paid to the teams.

“This is used to pay for expensive resource time on the rovers. It’s all about producing working results efficiently as a team and balancing budgets at the same time,” Robert added.

I.T Student Oliver Enright said during his end presentation that it had been a very challenging and enjoyable experience.

He thanked Software Cornwall and teachers for the opportunity, adding “it’s been a great week”.

To keep the teams on their toes, soft skill breaks sharpen their thinking and problem solving. Tennis balls, Frisbees and chocolate brownies played a prominent part in the week’s activities.

“All in all it was a very successful mission,” Robert concluded.

Software Cornwall has launched a crowdfunding campaign to ensure the continuation of its Education Outreach Programme supporting young people into careers in Cornwall’s Tech Community, to support go to:

For more information on the range of I.T courses available at Cornwall College St Austell visit or call 0330 123 2523.