19 DAYS : 10 HOURS : 46 MINS LEFT
Challenge Details
YOUR CHALLENGE IS:

DESIGN AN EXPERIMENT TO TEST ON A SUBORBITAL ROCKET OR HIGH-ALTITUDE BALLOON

ENTRIES DUE: November 03, 2021 | 11:59 PM PT

Learn About The Challenge

 

From remote sensing and climate research to microgravity experiments and technologies to explore the Moon, schools are invited to join NASA in its mission to advance space exploration and enhance our knowledge of Earth. If you are in sixth to 12th-grade at a U.S. public, private, or charter school, your challenge is to team up with your schoolmates and develop an experiment for one of the following flight test vehicles:
 
  • Suborbital rocket with about three minutes of microgravity (i.e., weightlessness)
  • High-altitude balloon with more than four hours of flight time at 70,000 feet, exposure to Earth’s atmosphere, and views of our planet
A total of 57 winning teams will each receive $1,500 to build their experiment, a 3D-printed flight box in which to build it, and an assigned spot to test their experiment on a NASA-sponsored suborbital flight. The winning teams will also have access to technical support and office hours with Future Engineers experts when building their experiments. Please watch the video below to learn more about the challenge. 
 
Steps to Enter
Entries Due By: November 3, 2021
1
Step 1 - FORM A TEAM
Make a team with at least four students and one Team Lead (teacher or school employee). All students must be in sixth – 12th grade and attend the same U.S. public, private, or charter school. There is no maximum number of students per team.
2
Step 2 - CHOOSE ROCKET OR BALLOON
Decide whether a suborbital rocket or high-altitude balloon is best for your project by watching the videos and reviewing the rocket and balloon design guidelines. Once you choose your vehicle, you can plan your experiment idea using the resources below.
Pick a Vehicle: Balloon or Rocket Slide Deck

Rocket

About Suborbital Rockets
play
3
Step 3 - Plan YOUR ROCKET EXPERIMENT
BRAINSTORM
There are many experiment ideas to consider! The brainstorming topics below will help your team think about possible experiment ideas to test on a suborbital rocket.
Rocket Brainstorm Worksheet
Rocket Brainstorm Slide Deck
DESIGN
Now it’s time to design your experiment! Think about what components you would use to bring your experiment idea to life. From motors to sensors to microcontrollers, explore the components you would use. You do NOT need to build your idea unless your team is selected as a winner.
Explore Components Design Worksheet
Plan Your Experiment Design Slide Deck
OR

Balloon

About High-Altitude Balloons
play
3
Step 3 - Plan YOUR Balloon EXPERIMENT
BRAINSTORM
There are many experiment ideas to consider! The brainstorming topics below will help your team think about possible experiment ideas to test on a high-altitude balloon.
Balloon Brainstorm Worksheet
Balloon Brainstorm Slide Deck
DESIGN
Now it’s time to design your experiment! Think about what components you would use to bring your experiment idea to life. From motors to sensors to microcontrollers, explore the components you would use. You do NOT need to build your idea unless your team is selected as a winner.
Explore Components Design Worksheet
Plan Your Experiment Design Slide Deck
4
Step 4 - SUBMIT PROPOSAL
Write up the experiment idea using the NASA TechRise Proposal Template and Guide. After your team writes up the proposal, the teacher or school employee must submit the proposal on or before November 3, 2021 to enter the challenge. Educators/schools can submit an unlimited number of proposals for an unlimited number of teams, but each proposal should be unique.
NASA TECHRISE PROPOSAL TEMPLATE & GUIDE
*OPTIONAL - LEARN THE BASICS OF CODING FOR FLIGHT
The resources below will be available to all winning teams to build and refine their experiment. The simulator can be plugged into a microcontroller to simulate the data stream that will be sent to the experiment during flight. Feel free to explore these simulators and coding lessons as you develop your experiment idea.
GETTING STARTED WITH MICROCONTROLLERS
Winners Announced
January 21, 2022
A total of 57 winning teams will receive a prize package that consists of: $1,500 to build your experiment, a flight box in which to build your experiment, and an assigned spot for the winning experiment on a NASA-sponsored flight. The winning teams will also have access to technical support and office hours with Future Engineers experts during the experiment build period.
BUILD & LAUNCH YOUR EXPERIMENT
January 2022 - Early 2023
Winning teams can start building their experiment immediately after the winner’s announcement on January 21, 2021. The winners will also be notified of their vehicle assignment and provided with a specific technical setup guide to simulate the vehicle’s power and data connection during the experiment build period. Per the rules, all experiments must be mailed to Future Engineers no later than October 31, 2022; however, we encourage teams to target a June 2022 completion to align with the 2021/22 academic school year.
Prize Boxes Sent
January 2022
Build Experiment
Begins January 2022
Send In Experiment
Target: June 2022
Experiment Launches
Early 2023

JOIN US FOR THESE EVENTS:

NASA TechRise Webinar
October 13, 4 -5pm PT
Have questions about the challenge or your proposal? Join the NASA TechRise Q&A webinar to participate in a moderated Q&A and have your questions answered by a member of the NASA TechRise team.
RSVP
 
 

DATES / JUDGING CRITERIA / PRIZES

You have to play by the rules to win.

WHO CAN ENTER

The NASA TechRise Challenge is for SCHOOLS in the United States. U.S. public, private, or charter schools that serve sixth to 12th grade students can assemble a team (or multiple teams) and enter. Minimum 4 students per team. No maximum number of students per team. Proposals must be submitted by a team lead that is a teacher or employee of the school. Homeschools are not eligible to participate unless they are affiliated with a public, private, or charter school that complies with the insurance requirements as stated in the RULES.
GRADES 6-12
SCHOOL CLASSES
GRADES 6-12
SCHOOL CLUBS
GRADES 6-12
SCHOOL TEAMS

JUDGING CRITERIA

High-Altitude Balloon
Suborbital Rocket
 
25
POINTS
Originality of the Flight Experiment Idea
25
POINTS
Impact on Education and/or Society
25
POINTS
Quality of the Build Plan and Compliance with the Design Guidelines
25
POINTS
Timeline Feasibility
5
POINTS
5 Bonus Points Awarded if School is Title 1 Eligible
25
POINTS
Originality of the Flight Experiment Idea
25
POINTS
Impact on Education and/or Society
25
POINTS
Quality of the Build Plan and Compliance with the Design Guidelines
25
POINTS
Timeline Feasibility
5
POINTS
5 Bonus Points Awarded if School is Title 1 Eligible

HOW TO ENTER

Please review the Challenge Rules and FAQ prior to creating your entry.

Challenge Rules FAQ

STUDENTS

Develop an experiment idea with your school team and fill out the Proposal Template. Give your completed proposal to your teacher. 

 

TEACHERS/EDUCATORS

Coordinate with your students to submit their team proposal. Teachers can submit an unlimited number of proposals, but please make sure each proposal is unique. 



PROGRAM DATES
Challenge Announced
25
May
Entries Open
18
August
Entries Close
03
November
Winners Announced
21
January
Experiments Complete
**
JUNE 2022
Experiments Launch
**
EARLY 2023
Challenge Announced
25
May
Entries Open
18
August
Entries Close
03
November
Winners Announced
21
January
Experiments Complete
**
JUNE 2022
Experiments Launch
**
EARLY 2023

PRIZES

 

Dive Into The Challenge

CLICK A TOPIC BELOW TO GET IDEAS FOR YOUR EXPERIMENT

Challenge Resources
Climate
Imaging & Sensing
Microgravity
Moon
Mars
Suborbital Vehicles
Digital Tools
Challenge Resources
>
Challenge Resources
Climate
Imaging & Sensing
Microgravity
Moon
Mars
Suborbital Vehicles
Digital Tools

LEARN ABOUT Imaging & Sensing

Understand the role remote imaging and sensing play in scientific discovery. Earth Science data can be a critical part of your experiment design. Dig into data from weather stations, radar, satellites, and think about what kind of experiment data you will want to collect or use.

LEARN ABOUT Mars

Discover Mars and learn about NASA's Mars2020 Mission. Follow the Perseverance Rover on its quest to search for signs of ancient microbial life. Check out the technologies being used to explore Mars and think about how they might help you with your experiment design.

LEARN ABOUT Suborbital Vehicles

Learn about NASA's Flight Opportunities program and discover how suborbital rockets and balloons help space exploration. These curated links and lessons will help you decide what vehicle to pick for your experiment.

Digital Tools

Get started with coding your microcontroller. Learn how to download Mu or Arduino IDE and get tinkering with some tutorials!
CircuitPython Tutorials
Get started with CircuitPython as the introductory programming language for your microcontroller. Learn how write code on a FREE programming editor like Mu. Get tinkering with curated tutorials. Build a programming foundation for your TechRise experiment.
Arduino Tutorials
Use Arduino programming language to take your microcontroller skills to the next level. Download the FREE Arduino IDE and check out our curated Arduino programming lessons. Build a programming foundation for your TechRise experiment.
 

LAUNCHING THE INNOVATORS OF TOMORROW

NASA's Flight Opportunities Program is leading the NASA TechRise Challenge, which is administered by Future Engineers. Flight Opportunities rapidly demonstrates promising technologies for space exploration, discovery, and the expansion of space commerce through suborbital testing with industry flight providers. The program matures capabilities needed for NASA missions and commercial applications while strategically investing in the growth of the U.S. commercial spaceflight industry. These flight tests take technologies from ground-based laboratories into relevant environments to increase technology readiness and validate feasibility while reducing the costs and technical risks of future missions. NASA’s Flight Opportunities program is funded by NASA’s Space Technology Mission Directorate (STMD) and managed at NASA’s Armstrong Flight Research Center in Edwards, California.