Contests and Challenges

Listed by deadline; see the event websites for full details.



Design for Astronauts

The NASA WEAR Challenge for middle school and high school students launched on October 6, 2020. The challenge gives Artemis Generation students an opportunity to design wearable radiation countermeasures for deep space exploration. Protecting deep space astronauts from high-energy charged particles and solar particle events (SPE) is important to exploration and the Artemis program. Team submissions are considered for a special student symposium with NASA experts. To participate in WEAR, lead educators must register by December 1, 2020. Find out more at or email the WEAR Team at



Glenn Engineering Design Challenges

Gaining Traction on Mars

Students work in engineering design teams to create and test various wheel designs and materials on a standard test vehicle to determine which are most effective on a simulated Martian surface. To understand how the test vehicle operates, students explore the inner-workings that make up the rover through four lead-up investigations.

All Glenn Engineering Design Challenges include:

  • A main challenge problem that the scientists and researchers at NASA's Glenn Research Center are currently studying.
  • Supporting science investigations that go deeper into the content and align directly with the Next Generation Science Standards.
  • Live virtual connections to NASA Subject Matter Experts (SMEs) where participants can discuss their challenge solutions and the SMEs' work at NASA.
  • Opportunities for student teams to submit their solutions to the challenge problem to the NASA Glenn Office of Education in the form of a slide presentation or video presentation.
  • Virtual and in-person professional development for facilitators to learn how to conduct the challenges in their own settings.

There is no deadline for participation.


Past opportunities

Send Your Name to Mars

NASA’s next mission to Mars, the Mars 2020 rover, will explore Jezero Crater on Mars, searching for signs of past microbial life, characterizing the planet's climate and geology, collecting samples for future return to Earth, and paving the way for human exploration. Participate in this mission by adding your name to a silicon microchip headed to the Red Planet aboard NASA’s Mars 2020 Rover, scheduled to launch in July/August 2020.  Participants get a souvenir boarding pass, “frequent flyer” points that carry over from mission to mission, and a digital mission patch. Submissions will be accepted until September 30, 2019. Submit your names here:

Launch Your Vision on a Rocket

Want to be one of the first humans to receive a postcard from space? Draw or write your vision of millions of people living and working in space on the blank side of a self-addressed, stamped postcard, and send it to us. We'll pack the first 10,000 postcards received before September 30, 2019 inside the Crew Capsule on an upcoming New Shepard flight. Your idea will launch into space! Once New Shepard returns to Earth, we'll send your postcard back to you, officially stamped “flown to space.” To participate, follow our step-by-step guide.


Name the Mars 2020 Rover

NASA invites U.S. students to submit essays to name NASA's next Mars rover. Kindergarten through 12th grade students have until November 1, 2019 to submit their name.


Global Launch

Join in the worldwide celebration of the 50th anniversary of the Apollo 11 launch on July 16, 2019 by launching your own rocket! All types of rockets are welcome, and no launch is too small so start spreading the word and get ready to celebrate! The Global Launch is open to anyone who wants to participate, whether your group is large or small, or even a party of one. Sign up today and get ready to countdown to July 16, 2019!


Design a Mission Patch

NASA is taking us forward to the Moon and challenging students to design a mission patch that will capture the excitement of future missions! Using Tynker, students will design and animate their own “Forward to the Moon” mission patches. Explore the history of NASA mission patches with your class, and research NASA’s Moon to Mars program. Learn coding concepts, including animating with costumes, motion and effects. NASA and Tynker will judge and select winners. Winners will get a chance for their classrooms to participate in a live video conference with a NASA expert. Deadline is May 5, 2019.


Apollo Next Giant Leap Student Challenge ( ANGLeS Challenge)

An opportunity for middle and high school students to participate in a challenge that not only celebrates the Apollo 11 Moon landing but uses today’s technology to provide students a glimpse of the next steps for technology developments that are being used to study the Earth and beyond. Student teams will build a replica of an Apollo 11 lunar lander and fly it by drone onto a high resolution map of the actual landing site. Once landed, the students will place a Lego Mindstorm EV3 at their landing site and use interactive programming to deliver a payload and recover a sample for return to Earth. All organizations must register by March 31, 2019, to participate in ANGLeS, regardless of whether they intend to participate in a regional challenge event. More details at


App Development Challenge

NASA’s App Development Challenge (ADC) provides an opportunity for middle and/or high school students to demonstrate the practice of coding and app development. In this ADC, students work in teams to develop an app that visualizes three minutes of simulated test data in support of the upcoming Ascent Abort-2 (AA-2) launch scheduled to take place in June 2019. In Round 1 of this challenge, teams will post their app designs online for consideration by NASA to use in future missions. In Round 2, teams with favorable submissions advance to present their app in an interview with NASA engineers working on the AA-2 Launch Test. After this round, NASA will select student team/s for an all-expenses paid trip to a NASA field center in early summer, 2019. Teams must register by April 10.


Wearable Equipment for Averting Radiation (WEAR) Challenge

WEAR gives middle and high school students an opportunity to design wearable radiation countermeasures for deep space exploration. Protecting deep space astronauts from high-energy charged particles and solar particle events (SPE) are important to exploration. Team submissions will be considered for an expense-paid trip to a NASA center. To participate in WEAR, lead teachers must register to participate in the challenge by May 10, 2019.


Humans in Space Youth Art Competition - What Will We Do On the Moon?

SciArt Exchange is calling on the generation who will take the next giant steps into space. If you are between 10-18 years old, help shape ideas for the future of space exploration with the International Humans In Space Youth Art Competition. Create artwork that is musical, literary, visual or video that expresses your ideas and inspiration for a new generation living, working and doing science on the Moon. What will it look like, sound like, and feel like? Winning artwork selected by an international panel of artists, scientists, teachers, engineers and astronauts will be displayed through a worldwide tour, beginning with displays associated with the 50th Anniversary Apollo 11 activities in July and a kickoff multimedia performance event in the Vortex Dome in Los Angeles in August.  See the contest website for awards and other details. Submissions are due May 15, 2019, 11:59 US CT. For more information, contact or visit


Apollo Youth Art Contest

The NASA Wallops Flight Facility Visitor Center is proud to announce the 2019 Youth Art Contest open to Pre-K through 12th grade students.  "Apollo's 50th Anniversary" is the theme for the 2019 Youth Art Contest. This NASA-unique theme aims to inspire art through the celebration of Apollo as we push towards returning to the Moon and take the next giant leap in deep space exploration. It is designed to encourage students to use the elements of art to help them understand and explore the role of the Apollo missions in NASA's advancements in human space exploration. NASA imagery of Earth's Moon and all aspects of the Apollo missions, will be the inspiration as students make the connection between science, history, and art. 

To enter, please complete and submit a registration form to the Visitor Center by Saturday, June 1, 2019. All artwork entries must be submitted or postmarked by Saturday, June 15, 2019. Email or mail forms to: NASA WFF Visitor Center Building J-20 Wallops Island, VA. 23337.