Some 120 students from Newark’s public schools will compete in a Mission Mars robotics contest. The sixth through eighth graders, divided into 15 teams, used Lego Mindstorm kits to design small robots. The children, mentored by NJIT students, programmed the robots to perform tasks on a mock surface of Mars. In competition, the robots must perform certain tasks: moving ramps and exiting a landing base, clearing surface dust from solar panels and connecting habitation modules. Judges will evaluate the robots’ performance and select team winners.