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/NASA-Ames Space Settlement Design Contest

NASA Ames Research Center in conjunction with the National Space Society sponsors an annual space settlement design contest for 6-12th grade students. The single highest scoring team or individual attending will receive the NSS Bruce M. Clark, Jr. Memorial Space Settlement Award for $3,000. 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.

Enterprise In Space

Enterprise In Space (EIS) is an educational program of the National Space Society (NSS) that has many exciting facets covering a myriad of opportunities for teachers, students, young professionals and learners of all ages. EIS offers an on-line learning network (EIS Academy), NewSpace focused cutting-edge resources and challenges (Enterprise Centers for Excellence), and opportunities to fly experiments into space.

EIS goals include demonstrating and pioneering new technologies, inspiring and encouraging space enterprise, and developing education curricula for students contributing to related future endeavors in STEAM (STEAM = STEM plus the arts = Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts and Mathematics). The EIS team plans to fly at least 100 student experiments into space at no flight cost to students.

Enterprise In Space Academy

The EIS 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 EIS Academy online learning network.

Enterprise Centers for Excellence

Through the Enterprise Centers for Excellence (ECE), 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 ECE’s may also hold annual student competitions based on the focus areas. Past and current competitions include:

Artificial Intelligence ECE

EIS/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.

CubeSat Structures Competition

Experiments that fly in space need a structure to hold them. These structures can be of many shapes and sizes depending on the type of rocket that will take them to space. To mark the first steps of the collaboration between the National Space Society’s Enterprise In Space program and EXOS Aerospace Systems and Technologies, Corp. and the initiative to send hundreds of student experiments into space, we are offering this worldwide search to find the perfect CubeSat structure.

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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