This special event from STEM with Wings is an opportunity for your class to find out about the amazing zero-gravity Mars helicopter and the Mars Rover Robotic Arm.

Classes will hear NASA engineer Ashitey Trebi-Ollennu’s inspiring story from Ghana to the UK to NASA, have a chance to ask him questions, and will take part in his engineering design challenge inspired by nature.

Don’t miss this amazing opportunity to spend an hour with one of the engineers behind NASA’s incredible mission to the Red Planet. Book your free place on 2 May at 2-3pm (suitable for KS2).

NASA engineer Ashitey Trebi-Ollennu lives on earth – but he works 33 million miles away on Mars, operating the Mars Rover Robotic Arm for NASA.

The Arm is fundamental to NASA’s Mars missions. It enables the missions to explore and investigate the planet and to conduct their experiments. Without the Arm, there would be no way even to move the scientific equipment from the spacecraft to the planet surface.

Ashitey has worked on every Robotic Arm sent to Mars and has a vast experience of inter-planetary robotics. It’s not only the Arm. Ashitey was also in the team which designed and built a helicopter – named Ingenuity, or Ginny – taken to Mars in 2020 and still operating there.

Ashitey sends instructions to NASA equipment on Mars on a daily basis, advancing the mission and troubleshooting when there are unexpected problems.

“Sometimes a problem seems intractable,” he says, “but we are engineers. We love to solve intractable problems!”

Ashitey was born in Ghana and traces his early fascination with engineering to the view from his garden of Accra airport – in particular the action of the wheels deploying for landing. He moved to the UK for university and his passion for robotics took him to the USA and NASA – and his robots to Mars.