Mars Transport Vehicle (MTV)

The Challenge Task

The SPACE in Schools MTV Challenge takes in-class STEM learning to a whole new level.

Student teams not only design and construct an off-road vehicle with a trailer, but they also have to incorporate remote-controlled steering and use it to negotiate an ‘extreme’ 4×4 obstacle course while the clock is ticking.

This combination of mechanics and electronics is similar to the challenges faced by professional Automotive Engineers. The program involves developing concepts and detailed CAD design through to manufacturing, assembly and testing—Whilst at the same time collaborating with Industry, teamwork, project management, self-promotion and public speaking.

The SPACE in Schools MTV Challenge is a perfect incentive or education tool for engaging students in STEM, and it provides them and their teachers with a new opportunity to develop key skills.

The MYV program is linked to the international 4×4 in Schools Technology Challenge.


4x4 in Schools

Project Elements

Your task is to design and build the best and most versatile Mars Transport Vehicle capable of tackling the complex and dynamic terrains that could be experienced while exploring the surface of Mars. 

In addition to the MTV, teams must also produce a complete body of work showcasing both the engineering design and managerial processes undertaken by the team.

The presentation of your project will involve the following elements:

  • Development of a Remote Controlled Mars Transport Vehicle. Harnessing students engineering skills and knowledge to design and build an extreme off road capable MTV to conquer a dynamic track filled with unique and challenging obstacles.
4x4 in Schools
  • A trade display which highlights your team, company profile, the science behind your design, the advantages and the benefits your design. These advantages may include transportability, operational efficiency and adaptability of your MTV.
  • A ten-minute verbal presentation, in essence, a sales pitch, describing your team, your design and its benefits. This presentation will be delivered to a group of Engineers, Scientists and Managers from Industry.
  • A 12 page A3 or up to 20 page A4 portfolio covering your company, your team and your design.

Your project will be assessed based on a range of criteria, including the application of Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics principles, any collaboration you undertake and your design process.

Eligibility & Team Makeup

Teams – Each team must consist of a minimum of three and a maximum of five students in years 5 through 12. The young people may all be of the same age or a mixture of young people of different ages. Educational organisations may set teams with young people from across other year groups. Teams of more than five will not be allowed to enter the competition. 

Class – The challenge is in two categories for entry into the competition, Development and Professional. Each team must decide which category they would like to enter before registering to compete at a state final. The two classes will be judged separately from each other, and separate awards will be presented.

Development Class – This is open to students in years 5 through 8 entering the challenge for the first time. 

Any student from a Development Class team who wishes to re-enter the competition can only enter as a Professional team. 

Professional Class – This class is open to teams in years 7 through 12 and existing teams who previously competed in the Development Class in year 6.

4x4 in Schools

Get Involved

Getting involved is easy. We provide a teachers guide that steps you through establishing and running SPACE in Schools, and we can connect you to teachers in your area who will be able to share knowledge, experience and resources.

There is also a design guide that will soon be available for download to assist students and teachers with the project and aid the design development journey.

Schools and students wanting to undertake the SPACE in Schools MTV program must register their interest below. We will then include you in all the relevant emails, newsletters, and communications to help you get started in SPACE in Schools.

All teams must be registered before their first competition event and before the published team registrations deadline to participate in State or National competitions. In addition, a Challenge Agreement Form must be completed by the supervising teacher, parent/guardian where applicable and returned to REA before the cut-off dates.

There are no fees associated with School Registration. Fees will only apply to those teams that represent their region at a State or National Final.

Do you have what it takes?