WASHINGTON — NASA is calling on middle and high school students nationwide to join its second NASA TechRise Student Challenge.
Under the guidance of an educator, student teams in grades six to 12 attending U.S. public, private, or charter schools are invited to develop, build, and launch science and technology experiments on high-altitude balloons.
The challenge is administered by Future Engineers, and offers hands-on insight into the design and test process used by NASA-supported researchers.
Goals are to inspire a deeper understanding of Earth’s atmosphere, surface features, and climate, as well as space exploration, coding, electronics, and the value of test data, according to a press release.
“We are thrilled to offer the second annual NASA TechRise Student Challenge,” said NASA Administrator Bill Nelson. “The quality of the experiments and the creativity we saw from students in the last challenge are exactly the kinds of problem-solving and hands-on learning NASA hopes to inspire. We’re eager to see what innovative ideas pour in from students around the nation this year.”
The winning teams will each receive $1,500 to build their experiment and an assigned spot on a NASA-sponsored high-altitude balloon flight operated by one of two commercial providers. The challenge is led by NASA’s Flight Opportunities program with support from the NASA Tournament Lab, and teams will also receive technical support and mentorship from Future Engineers.
“We could not do a project like this in our classroom without the support of NASA TechRise,” said Jill Davis, Superintendent-Director of the Greater Lowell Technical High School in Tyngsborough, Massachusetts, which had one of the winning teams in last year’s challenge. “It is something that is truly out of this world! This challenge helped students develop their own unique ideas for future inventions, which adds a new layer of meaning to what they learn.”
To participate, visit the NASA TechRise Student Challenge website. Teams should submit experiment ideas by Oct. 24 using the design guidelines and proposal template on the competition site. NASA plans to announce the competition winners in January. A total of 60 teams will be selected. Student teams will build their payloads from January to May, and final experiments will take flight in summer 2023.
Educators interested in TechRise are encouraged to join the virtual educator workshop on Saturday, Aug. 27, to learn more about the challenge, high-altitude balloons, how to develop a NASA TechRise proposal and to ask questions of TechRise educators are recent challenge participants.
NASA also is seeking volunteers to help judge entries. U.S. residents with expertise in engineering, space, and/or atmospheric research who are interested in reviewing NASA TechRise Student Challenge submissions can apply to be a judge on the Future Engineers website.