Student cubesat experiments readied for flight to space aboard an EXOS Aerospace rocket

We at National Space Society believe space with its infinite resources holds the key to the future of life on Earth. The National Space Society therefore provides many educational opportunities to advance the careers of space-interested students from around the world. Our educational competitions, lessons, activities, and programs span grades K-12, university, and post-doctoral age levels. We engage teachers, students and the community in learning programs that use space science and space themes as we work to inspire the next generation of space leaders.

NSS Space Settlement Contest

The National Space Society sponsors an annual space settlement design contest for students up to 12th grade. This contest has been sponsored by NASA Ames Research Center from 1994-2018, for many of those years in conjunction with the National Space Society (NSS). In 2019 sponsorship was fully transferred to the National Space Society. The single highest scoring team or individual attending will receive the Herman Rubin Award of $5,000. For our 2017 contest, we received more than 1,500 submissions from 6,674 students sponsored by 732 teachers. Entries came from 21 countries: Bangladesh, Brazil, Bulgaria, Canada, China, Colombia, Hong Kong, India, Indonesia, Ireland, Malaysia, Jordan, Pakistan, Poland, Romania, Russia, Sri Lanka, Taiwan, Thailand, Turkey, and United Arab Emirates. U.S. entries were received from 18 states and territories: Arizona, California, Florida, Georgia, Hawaii, Indiana, Kentucky, Minnesota, Missouri, Nevada, New Jersey, New York, North Carolina, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Puerto Rico, Texas, and Vermont.

International Space Settlement Design Competition

This annual contest puts high school students in the shoes of aerospace industry engineers designing a city in space that will house over 10,000 people. Student engineers demonstrate creativity, technical competence, management skills, environmental knowledge, space, teamwork, and presentation techniques to conquer the problems inherent in siting and designing a Space Settlement (Space Colony).

Cislunar Explorers

The Cislunar Explorers project teams NSS with Cornell University with the goal of placing a small spacecraft in orbit around the Moon as part of the NASA CubeQuest Challenge. The spacecraft will demonstrate two technologies critical to the development of space: the electrolysis of liquid water using the resulting hydrogen and oxygen as fuel and oxidizer, and an autonomous navigation system.

SpacEdge Academy

The SpacEdge Academy offers lessons, projects, and activities for K-12 students and teachers to guide them in experiment design and space related educational opportunities. Through their own discoveries, students will be drawn into the exciting adventure of space exploration and discovery.  Web-based technologies that tie into social networking, interactive learning, and teacher professional development programs are used in the SpacEdge Academy online learning network.

spUN (Space Policy and UNiversalization) Student Debates

The National Space Society’s SpacEdge Education will be hosting debate tournaments to be held at The International Space Development Conferences. These spUN (Space Policy and UNiversalization) debates will be offered at the following levels: middle school/high school, college/university, and professional. The spUN Debates offer people around the globe an opportunity to contemplate the policies that will make their mark in space settlement. The development of space policy, the players, the representation of an inclusion of people, the military aspect, and the implications of space policy and development on the governance of Earth are topics that are under consideration for the ISDC spUN Debates.

SpacEdge Centers for Excellence

Through the SpacEdge Centers for Excellence, NSS connects leaders from the space industry and universities in a cutting-edge space-related STEAM field with university and post-graduate students interested in that area. The space industry professionals, professors, and leaders sponsor an on-line environment that promotes networking and collaboration through a Cybrary (cyber library) of vetted research for students to pique their interest, as well as areas for mentoring, networking, and Q & A, and an IDEA space.  The SpacEdge Centers for Excellence may also hold annual student competitions based on the focus areas. Past and current competitions include:

Artificial Intelligence

NSS aims to improve the way learning occurs, and help to bring equal opportunity learning to all children. An AI Tutor in development with Value Spring Technology, Inc., will help students and teachers learn via the Socratic method.

LEO Art Challenge

What is LEO? LEO stands for Low Earth Orbit and is a region of space located between 150 and 2000 km (99 and 1200 miles) above Earth’s surface. Students learn about, imagine, and share the exciting LEO environment as a professional engineer, designer, advertiser, writer, or artist that has been hired to create promotional materials about LEO and its environment. This is an on-going challenge for K-12 + University students.


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