Earth Background

The National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA), in collaboration with the U.S. Department of Education, has developed five 6-8th grade and two 3rd – 5th grade unique science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) Design Challenges . Each STEM challenge is based upon real mission data and experiences that occur during human and robotic exploration of the solar system.

These content opportunities connect students in 21st Century Community Learning Centers (21st CCLCs) with NASA scientists and engineers to discuss proposed challenge solutions. Each challenge includes an STEM facilitation guide, introductory videos, and resources to help educators conduct the opportunity and engage students.

Participating sites create and submit brief videos showcasing their responses to the challenge. U.S. Department of Education leaders and NASA scientists and engineers then select student videos to highlight in a culminating live Web event or to be showcased during state-based culminating experiences.

This interagency initiative is funded by the U.S. Department of Education.


Develop a device to slow down spacecraft landing on Mars.

Develop safety devices for astronauts traveling to the Moon or Mars


Build a shoebox glider to produce the greatest glide slope.

Develop a plant growth system to help sustain astronauts on a lunar surface.

Develop a drag device to slow a spacecraft for entry, descent, and landing.

Help design NASA’s next generation spacecraft.

Develop a containment system to protect astronauts from the vacuum of space


Participating 21st CCLC Site Information

2019-2020 NASA Site Profile Form: Due May 17, 2019.

You will be prompted to enter your email. Once you enter your email you will either create a password or enter your existing Y4Y account password. If you have any problems signing in, please email

If you are a NASA members please sign in to access the site application form


If your 21st CCLC site is participating in the NASA Projects, please login to access full features including the event calendar, discussion forums, and project uploads.

For an overview of the NASA Projects Schedule, click here If you are a participating site, click the button below to access the event calendar. You must be logged in to the Y4Y Portal using the e-mail address you provided on your Technical Assessment Form to view the event calendar.

If you do not see a connection offering that meets your site’s schedule needs, please email requesting 2-3 times, the date, and challenge or investigation you are interested in so NASA may identify a scientist/engineer to connect with your students.

Calendar only available to NASA members