Search for smartest kid in Colorado takes us to CU Denver

They raced it at NASA's Human Exploration Rover Challenge and placed 5th overall as a rookie team.

NEXT WITH KYLE CLARK, KUSA - Our ongoing search for the smartest kid in Colorado led us to the University of Colorado (CU) Denver.
We had to apply a pretty broad definition of kid to include the group of young people, but folks who hate Next say Kyle Clark is a kid, too.

So it is with no intended offense that we highlight the team of young CU Denver engineers who are getting some international recognition.

Team Epiphany designed and built a rover that can handle terrain on the moon and Mars.

The engineering students started working on the rover over a year ago - it was their senior design project. They raced it at NASA's Human Exploration Rover Challenge two weeks ago.

Team Epiphany placed 5th overall - as a rookie team. The next group of rookies to get close to them was 27th.

They also won the Neil Armstrong Best Design award for best overall engineering design at the competition.

"We are the first rookie team to win that award, which really speaks volumes about our engineering program here," said Derique Duran, the team lead for Team Epiphany.

Their first-ever rover, and race,  really caught the eye of the folks with NASA.

"It is something where NASA sent us a personal email afterwards and said 'CU Denver rocks' they were completely shocked by what we had brought to the competition and just really impressed by our overall engineering," said Duran. "To do this as a team. It was overwhelming - it was just sheer joy."

Collectively, the members of the team spent about 5,000 hours working on their rover.

They don't know what is going to be done with it yet.

They hope to keep it in tact and share it with STEM programs around Denver.

Now if you don't think the engineers are the smartest kids in Colorado and have your own suggestion about who is - tell us. You can find us on Facebook or Twitter, or email next@9news.com

© 2017 KUSA-TV


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