STARKVILLE, Miss. (WTVA) -- The names Adam and Bobak may not ring a bell to you, but in the NASA community, they are household names.
The two famous NASA engineers visited Mississippi State University on Tuesday to show students their latest accomplishment and to look over robotic creations constructed by students from area high schools and middle schools at the Mississippi Boosting Engineering, Science and Technology (BEST) program.
The students had the opportunity to showcase their robots to the NASA engineers who are Internet sensations for their hairstyles.
The two leaders of the Curiosity rover mission to Mars were rather impressed with the students' robotic creations.
"I'm continually amazed at the inventiveness of these young minds," said Adam Steltzner, NASA engineer. "These kids are 10, 12 years old, and they are coming up with ideas that are fantastic."
For these students that are able to attend the BEST robotics, it's an opportunity for them to be able to see real world applications and be able to interact and talk one-on-one with engineers from NASA.
"I want to be one of the engineer people that design a robot in the future," said Stephon Calhoune, a student at West Point High School, "[one] that will help more people become more smarter in their homework."
"The robots, they talk, dance, make their own bottles go in the cans and different stuff," added Jameka Brown, a student at Noxubee County High School. "That's what makes me want to do it."
The NASA engineers said there is a lot of work still waiting to come to fruition in their respective fields and having the next generation on board is a key to success.
"Not only is it value that we're serving as inspiration to younger people to get into engineering and everything else, but at the same time, we're tackling challenges that maybe we're not always aware of," said Bobak Ferdowski, a NASA engineer. "But to [be able to] show how much fun it can be at the same time and how the hard work pays off in the end, that's kind of a cool thing that the kids may not normally get to experience."
The students will have their robots tested at an upcoming final competition that helps foster critical thinking.
Mississippi is one of 15 states that host one of the 39 licensed BEST competitions each year.