Vaneeza Rupani with TCHS Physics Teacher Mr. Robby Workman and TCHS Principal Dr. Cynthia Simpson

Mr. Robby Workman, Vaneeza Rupani, and Dr. Cynthia Simpson at TCHS.

Next Mars Rover Under Construction - Photo from NASA/JPL-Caltech

Next Mars rover under construction.

Name NASA's Next Mars Rover Contest - Photo from NASA/JPL-Caltech

Name NASA's Next Mars Rover Illustration

TCSS Student Chosen as Finalist in NASA Contest

  • January 23, 2020 

    Congratulations to Vaneeza Rupani, a junior at Tuscaloosa County High School, who is a finalist in a contest to name NASA’s next Mars rover!  Vaneeza’s submitted name of “Ingenuity” was one of more than 28,000 entries in the “Name the Rover” essay contest. From that group, 155 semifinalists were chosen, and now nine finalists remain. The public has the opportunity to vote for their favorite name now through January 27. Visit the online poll to vote.

    Vaneeza says she discovered the contest while she was visiting the NASA web site.

    “The goal was to answer the question, ‘How do humans send a robot to Mars?’” Vaneeza said in describing the contest.  

    “I thought ‘Ingenuity’ would answer how we got there. It’s intelligence, creativity, talent, all of that.”

    Vaneeza says since NASA’s announcement of the finalists, her classmates have been sharing their support and congratulations.

    “Everyone around here has been super supportive, and they’ve been voting all the time. Pretty much once a class period, I’ve been getting a congratulations. It’s all really exciting, all the support.”

    Both TCHS Principal Dr. Cynthia Simpson and Vaneeza’s physics teacher Mr. Robby Workman expressed how proud they are of Vaneeza. Dr. Simpson says she hopes this accomplishment encourages other students to pursue their interests and dreams.

    “When we have students like this, it just uplifts all the students,” Dr. Simpson said.

    “Hopefully, seeing her excel in this manner will help them to try to do the same.”

    Vaneeza says she is interested in studying aerospace engineering after high school.

    “I’ve always liked math and science, and I think it’s cool to be able to facilitate space exploration. There’s so much out there to see, and to help make that possible would be really exciting.”

    Learn more about the Mars rover, the contest and how to vote at the NASA Mars Exploration Program web site.