Education

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 invites students worldwide to participate in a premier cloud based STEAM opportunity showcasing their creative space settlements projects for our solar system and beyond. Contest settlements may be orbiting the Sun, a planet, an asteroid, or a moon, but they cannot be on a planet or moon unless in support of an orbital settlement. Through this contest students 7 to 12th grade (18 years old and younger) learn science and teamwork while developing space settlement related projects.

Starting in 1994, tens of thousands of students have been involved in this unique program where the students can choose the focus and scope of their work. The NSS Space Settlement Contest motivates students to be innovative, become good communicators, learn cutting-edge technologies, and nurture academic and emotional development. A space act agreement with NASA Ames Research Center sponsored the contest until 2018 when it was fully transferred to NSS at NASA’s invitation.

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).

Embedded Teacher Program

The National Space Society with the Wisconsin Space Grant Consortium, Carthage College and Zero Gravity Corporation is pleased to announce the Embedded Teacher Program, a NASA-supported opportunity for grades 6–12 teachers in STEAM disciplines.

Teachers are invited to apply to participate in a workshop to develop curriculum demonstrations and experiments related to spaceflight and microgravity. Participants will travel to the Carthage College campus in Kenosha, Wisconsin, for a workshop scheduled for October 8–9, 2021.

The workshop will introduce the basic concepts of microgravity physics, the types of research conducted in space, the curriculum opportunities for middle and high school teachers, and will also provide hands-on materials and individual assistance with developing teachable explorations of microgravity science on G-FORCE ONE.  (Wisconsin Space Grant Consortium will support WI teacher travel expenses. Teachers from outside Wisconsin may apply to their state Space Grant Consortium for travel expense to Kenosha, WI for the October workshop.)

Participants will propose experiments and demonstrations that support existing research scheduled for an upcoming ZERO-G flight. The teacher(s) selected for the flight will be “embedded” with the Carthage College undergraduate student space science research team as they conduct their experiments on the parabolic flight campaign. (All teacher expenses  provided.) Learn more from this video.

Application Deadline:  September 3, 2021

Apply now: spacegrant.carthage.edu.

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:

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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