Youth Opportunities

girl checking phoneIf you want to study space or become a scientist, the Solar Week scientists at Solar Week say it's great to get involved in internships, space camps and other science related activities. These will let you have fun, increase your space science knowledge and let you make connections that will likely lead to future opportunities!

Here are some opportunities for young people:

NASA's Centennial Challenges: Space Robotics Challenge

NASA, in partnership with Space Center Houston and NineSigma, has opened registration for a new competition -- the Space Robotics Challenge. This event seeks to develop the capabilities of humanoid robots to help astronauts on the journey to Mars.

The Space Robotics Challenge is a $1 million prize competition designed to push the boundaries of robotic dexterity. Teams must program a virtual robot, modeled after NASA’s Robonaut 5, or R5 robot, to complete a series of tasks in a simulation that includes periods of latency to represent communications delay from Earth to Mars.

The competition will be held in a virtual environment. Each team’s R5 will be challenged with resolving the aftermath of a dust storm that has damaged a Martian habitat. This involves three objectives: aligning a communications dish, repairing a solar array and fixing a habitat leak.

Registration for the Space Robotics Challenge closes at 5 p.m. EDT on Oct. 7, 2016. A qualifying round will run from mid-September to mid-November. Finalists of that round will be announced in December and will engage in open practice from January to early June 2017. The final virtual competition will be held in June 2017, and winners will be announced at the end of June at Space Center Houston.

For more information about the Space Robotics Challenge, visit

Please direct questions about this competition to

Student Spaceflight Experiments Program -- Mission 11 to the International Space Station

The National Center for Earth and Space Science Education and the Arthur C. Clarke Institute for Space Education, in partnership with NanoRacks LLC, announce a science, technology, engineering and mathematics, or STEM, opportunity for school districts across the U.S. and space station partner nations. The newest flight opportunity, Mission 11 to the International Space Station, gives students across a community the ability to design and propose real experiments to fly in low-Earth orbit on the space station. This opportunity is part of the Student Spaceflight Experiments Program, or SSEP.

Each participating community will receive a real microgravity research mini-laboratory capable of supporting a single microgravity experiment and all launch services to fly the minilab to the space station in spring 2017 and return it to Earth. An experiment design competition in each community -- engaging typically 300+ students -- allows student teams to design and propose real experiments vying for their community′s reserved minilab.

Content resources for teachers and students support foundational instruction on science in microgravity and experimental design. Additional SSEP programming uses the experiment design competition to engage the community in embracing a learning-community model for STEM education.

This competition is open to students in grades 5-12 and college. Informal education groups and organizations also are encouraged to participate. Interested communities must inquire about the program no later than May 27, 2016. The National Center for Earth and Space Science Education is available to help interested communities in the U.S. secure the needed funding.

To learn more about this opportunity, visit the SSEP Mission 11 to International Space Station National Announcement of Opportunity at

SSEP is enabled through a strategic partnership with NanoRacks LLC working with NASA under a Space Act Agreement as part of the use of the International Space Station as a national laboratory. The Center for the Advancement of Science in Space ( is a national partner on SSEP. To view a list of all SSEP national partners, visit

If you have any questions about this opportunity, please email SSEP National Program Director Jeff Goldstein at


2016 National Academy of Engineering - Engineering for You Video Contest 3

The National Academy of Engineering, or NAE, is launching the Engineering for You Video Contest 3, or E4U3.

This year, participants are tasked with creating a 1- to 2-minute video focused on mega-engineering. Mega-engineering projects typically address important needs of large populations and/or societies, require teams working across countries and cultures on a solution, and involve at least three disciplines including engineering.

The competition is open to all individuals or teams in the following competition categories:
-- Middle school students and younger (grades K-8)
-- High school students (grades 9-12)
-- Tertiary education students (two-year college through graduate school, full or part time)
-- The general public

The main prize is $25,000, and
videos will be accepted through May 31, 2016.

For more information, visit

Questions about the E4U3 Video Contest should be directed to

Future Engineers 'Think Outside the Box' Challenge

To celebrate the launch of the first-ever expandable habitat to the International Space Station (Bigelow Aerospace’s BEAM) and the launch of the first-ever commercial 3-D printer in space (Made In Space’s Advanced Manufacturing Facility), NASA and the American Society for Mechanical Engineers Foundation are challenging students to think outside the box with 3-D printing -- literally. If you are a K-12 student in the United States, your challenge is to design a useful object that assembles, telescopes, hinges, accordions, grows, or expands to become larger than the printing bounds of the Advanced Manufacturing Facility 3-D printer in space (14cm length by 10cm width by 10cm height). The function of your assembled or expanded item can be anything you think would be useful for an astronaut living on the International Space Station.

The 'Out of the Box' Challenge is the fourth in a series of challenges where students in grades K-12 will create and submit a digital 3-D model of an object that they think astronauts might need in space. Future Engineers is a multiyear education initiative that consists of 3-D space challenges and curriculum videos on the site that parents and educators can use to get kids designing today.

Think big. Think outside of the box! And good luck!

Entries must be submitted by Aug. 1, 2016.

For more information about the challenge and to watch the launch video, go to

Please email questions about this competition to


New YouTube Kids Playlist -- The Solar System and Beyond: Kids Edition

Ready for liftoff? NASA has launched a new kids’ playlist of our videos that journey into the solar system and beyond on the YouTube Kids App. Learn something new about your celestial neighborhood!

Explore this new playlist here:

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