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NASA STEM Challenge Help Desk



NASA is available to answer questions or provide support as you plan and implement your engineering design challenge with students. Our help desk staff will review your question and get in touch as soon as possible. If you would like a phone call response, please add the site facilitator’s name, site location name, phone number, best time to call, and local time zone.

Frequently Asked Questions

  • Please go to /join to sign up for a Y4Y account. Accounts are free!
  • Visit the Y4Y website to download and print content: Content includes:  
    • Facilitator Guides
    • Student Journals
    • Presentation Slides (with notes to guide facilitation for each challenge)
    • Online Videos
    • Introduction video for each challenge
    • Telling Your Story on Video” (best practices on how to produce the student video)
    • Scientist and Engineer STEM Career Video

You do not need a Y4Y account to view and download project content. Everyone has access to this information.

  • Your Site Technology Needs:
    • Computer/laptop on the site network
    • Wi-Fi or hardwired internet connection
    • Webcam and microphone (external microphones work better)
    • Projector or large monitor (optional)
    • External speakers facing away from the microphone to avoid feedback (optional)
    • Phone

Click here to view a graphic showing an example of classroom set up for the Scientist and Engineer Connections.

  • Check your Dashboard to review next steps and to check your progress monthly.
  • Register for a post-webinar (Professional Development, Technology Integration, Student Support, Evaluation)
  • Register for a Monthly Call
  • Test your virtual connection (via WebEx)
  • Download challenge content
  • Watch for e-blast announcements
  • Submit a query in the NASA STEM Challenge Help Desk if you need to update your 21st CCLC site information
  • Register for NASA Scientist and Engineer Virtual Connections with Students
  • Please send an email via the NASA STEM Challenge Help Desk. Include your site information, old point of contact (POC) information and updated POC information. Please also copy your state coordinator. 
  • To find your Dashboard, be sure you are logged into your Y4Y account and select this link. If you do not see your checklist, then you may not be in our system as a NASA Member. 
    • Still not working? Go here. Select “Login” at the top right, add your email address. If it does not recognize you as a NASA Member, please contact the NASA STEM Challenge Help Desk and submit a query. 
  • Be sure you are signed in with the email that our Y4Y NASA team was provided in the site profile form. If you're email is different, please contact the NASA STEM Challenge Help Desk.
  • If you are signed in, you can also find your Dashboard by going to the site navigation tabs. Find the 2020-21 Participant Information drop down. In that drop down, you will find a Dashboard link.
  • Find links to surveys you must complete before implementation on your Dashboard. Go to the evaluation webpage for additional guidelines.
  • Site profile forms should be completed following your two-day virtual professional development training to ensure accurate information is shared about your site.
  • Complete your site profile form withing 2 weeks after your two-day virtual, professional development training. 
  • You can find your site profile form link in your Dashboard.
  • If your site experiences implementation changes or point of contact (POC) changes, please contact the Y4Y NASA Team using the NASA STEM Challenge Help Desk.

What You Need to Know About Release Forms

  • All parents/guardians of students must complete a Student/Educator Release and Intellectual Property Form in order for students to be in photos/videos.
  • Students/educators who do not sign the form cannot be in photos/videos.
  • The release form will confirm the rights to use images/videos taken of students and educators during the NASA STEM Challenge project. This allows the U.S. Department of Education, NASA and their contractor to use/share the video with the public.
  • If you do not plan to take photos/videos, you do not need to complete release forms.

How to Complete Release Forms

  • The release form is available as a fillable Word Document that can be completed electronically. You may also choose to print it out and use a paper copy. If you use paper copies, please be sure to keep all completed release forms in a safe place until further notice.
  • Instruct parents/guardians to be sure they complete the release form fully, including checking the box at the bottom of the form.
  • We are requesting that forms be submitted as soon as possible, and before the project is complete at the latest.

How to Submit Completed Release Forms

  1. Download, save and send the student/educator release forms to your students’ parents/guardians.
  1. Collect and save all forms (either electronic versions or scanned paper copies) in a folder on your computer.
  2. Name the folder with your site’s name (this is critical so we know who the forms belong to).
  3. Go to
  4. Upload, or drag and drop the folder containing the forms. For help uploading a folder, visit
  5. Enter your email
  6. In the “message” box, include your site’s name. (this is critical so we know who the forms belong to)
  7. Click “transfer”.
  • All of your site facilitators can view events, but only the site Point of Contact (POC) can register for events.
  • If you need access NASA Calendar and cannot see the Y4Y NASA Calendar when you are logged in with your Y4Y account, please contact the NASA STEM Challenge Help Desk.
  • There should be only ONE, unique POC per site. A person may not serve as a POC for multiple sites.
  • The 21st CCLC Site Point of Contact should be the only one who has access to the Y4Y NASA Calendar. This person will register their site for the mandatory Post PD Webinar, the NASA/Student Scientist and Engineer Connections, and the monthly calls.
  • If you are this person, and cannot see the Y4Y NASA Calendar when you are logged in with your Y4Y account, please contact the NASA STEM Challenge Help Desk.
  • There should be only ONE, unique POC per site. A person may not serve as a POC for multiple sites.
  • Be sure you are logged into your Y4Y NASA account and visit the NASA STEM Challenge Calendar.
  • The calendar will provide all available scientist and engineer connections. 
  • Be sure you are logged into your Y4Y NASA account and visit the NASA STEM Challenge Calendar
  • Under the calendar, you will your scheduled connections. Select the CANCEL option to cancel your connection. 
  • If you cannot see the CANCEL option, please contact the NASA STEM Challenge Help Desk
  • Four calls will be offered a month, one on each of the following topic areas: Professional Development, Technology Integration, Student Support, and Evaluation.
  • Please attend the calls that fit your needs. You can attend all four or just ones needed.
  • Sites should monitor student attendance daily and keep good records.
  • Check the NASA STEM Challenge Calendar of events and register for evaluation pre-training webinars and post-webinars early. Registration will close 24 hours in advance of scheduled evaluation webinar event.
  • Review the Evaluation Webpage and other FAQs for updates, instructions, and SurveyMonkey links.
  • Watch for Eblasts for announcements on the latest evaluation data collection activities.

For more evaluation information visit the evaluation webpage.

  • You do not need to submit attendance. However, you should be collecting attendance on your own. After project implementation, you will be provided with a Post Implementation Facilitator Survey that will include student attendance questions. For more information, visit the evaluation webpage
  • "Telling Your Story on Video" (best practices on how to produce the student video)
  • Other tips:
    • Find an uncluttered background.
    • Be sure the area is free of outside noise and well lit from the front. Don’t record in front of a window.
    • If possible, use a tripod for a steady picture. If not, try to hold your camera on something solid.
    • Speakers need to maintain eye contact with the camera and talk slowly and confidently.
    • Know what you are going to say ahead of time so you don’t have long pauses.
    • Vary your shots. Show a closeup of your model and explain its features and how it meets the criteria and constraints.
    • Use visuals that are readable.
    • Be sure you have covered all the steps in the engineering design process.
    • View Y4Y's past webinars on virtual learning tools

By accessing your Dashboard, all facilitators are required to complete the following actions:

  • Complete the last facilitator survey which includes attendance questions relating to your experience of monitoring students’ attendance in the NASA STEM Challenge.

For more evaluation information visit the evaluation webpage.

  • To upload your final student product, go to your Dashboard
  • On the left panel, there is a "Submit Student Product" button. Follow the steps that follow to submit your student product. 
  • IMPORTANT: If you have any photos or videos of students or educators in your final student product, each student/educator MUST COMPLETE a Student/Educator Intellectual and Property Release Form. Visit the During Implementation section of the FAQs for more information. 
  • If you need assistance submitting your final student product, please content the NASA STEM Challenge Help Desk

Help Desk Hours: Mon. - Fri.

  • 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. (Eastern Standard Time),
  • 8:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. (Central Time),
  • 8:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. (Mountain Time), and
  • 7:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. (Pacific),

Help Desk Team:

Instructional Support

  • Diane Mcelwain - NASA Content Specialist
  • Corey Gordon - NASA Content Specialiast

Project Implementation Support

  • Maria Arredondo - NASA Education Manager
  • Chelsea Heffernan - Y4Y Manager
  • Maggie Melone-Echi - NASA Project Specialist
  • Sarah Whitehead - Y4Y Project Specialist
  • Harold Cunningham - NASA Tech Support
  • Emilia Durand - Materials and Supplies

Evaluation Support

  • Vanessa Mullins - NASA Evaluation Team

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