Three NASA Competitions for Students

NASA's Wallops Flight Facility in Virginia (seen here with the Orbital Sciences Corporation Antares rocket and Cygnus spacecraft on the launch pad). Photo Credit: (NASA/Joel Kowsky). Licensed under CC BY-NC-ND 2.0, via Flickr.

NASA has three STEM competitions open to students in grades 3-12 with deadlines in February and March 2018:

Cubes in Space
Registration Deadline: February 2, 2018
NASA’s Wallops Flight Facility and Langley Research Center, along with the Colorado Space Grant Consortium and idoodledu, inc., are offering a free STEAM education program for U.S. and international students ages 11–18. Cubes in Space™ lets students design an experiment to be contained in a payload cube and compete to launch it into space or near-space. The program, which has been around since 2014, has flown nearly 600 experiments.

An adult must agree to sponsor the student and must complete the registration on their behalf.

Selected student-designed payload cubes will be launched via a sounding rocket from Wallops Flight Facility in Virginia in late June or from a high-altitude scientific balloon from NASA’s Columbia Scientific Balloon Facility in New Mexico in late August.

2018 OPTIMUS PRIME Spinoff Promotion and Research Challenge
Deadline for Glog + InWorld Presentation Track (Grades 7–12): February 20, 2018
Entry Deadline for Glog Only Track (Grades 3–12): March 5, 2018
NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center invites students in grades 3–12 to enter the OPTIMUS PRIME™ Spinoff Promotion and Research Challenge (OPSPARC). Spinoffs are technologies originally created for space and modified into everyday products used on Earth and include things like memory foam, satellite television, and artificial limbs.

This contest challenges students to work in teams (or on their own) to create a multimedia poster using a tool developed by Glogster.

An optional component is available for students in grades 7–12 who want to take their spinoff further by creating models and visual representations of their ideas within a 3D, multi-user virtual world environment called InWorld.

Winning teams or individual students are invited to NASA Goddard Space Flight Center for two days of in-depth, behind the scenes, hands-on workshops with scientists and astronauts.

International Space Station Research Design Challenge: Capillary Effects on Liquids Exploratory Research Experiments
Design Submission Deadline: March 1, 2018
NASA and Portland State University in Oregon are challenging students in grades 8–12 to design microgravity experiments investigating capillary action, similar to those conducted on the space station.

Teams or individuals create their own experiment using computer-aided design (CAD) with a provided template and submit a short proposal presenting their experiment.

Winning experiments will be tested in the university’s 2.1-second drop tower, and video results will be available for student analysis and reporting.


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