|NASA Student Involvement Program (NSIP)||
Join the NASA Team!
John B. Herrington, the first Native American astronaut, presented an NSIP award to 7th grade students at Tuba City Boarding School
The NASA Student Involvement Program (NSIP) endeavors to inspire student exploration and discovery of space and Earth through six national competitions for K-12 students. NSIP engages students, as only NASA can, in inquiry-based investigative competitions focusing on planetary exploration, Earth system science, engineering design challenges, science journalism, as well as orbital and sub-orbital experimental instrument development.
NSIP seeks to inspire and motivate students to pursue an education, as well as careers in science, technology, engineering, mathematics, and journalism by engaging students in investigations and design challenges that NASA scientists consider on a daily basis. Along the way students and their teachers are offered the opportunity to work directly with NASA scientists.
Have you ever wondered what new technology NASA is developing to send astronauts and civilians to space? Or how looking at Earth from space is changing what we see and the way we think and live? Where besides Earth could you find water? Volcanoes? Quakes? Mountains? Clouds? Lightning? Storms? Seasons? Is it possible that living creatures might exist on other planets or their moons? NSIP presents opportunities for students and teachers to expand their horizons by considering these and other questions about the future.
Each of the six NSIP competitions is described in a Resource Guide that provides instructional materials, judging rubrics, tips, and resources for using investigations and design challenges in your classroom. The NASA Student Involvement Program supports national education standards for science, mathematics, technology, and geography. By participating in NSIP students will:
- Develop "science as inquiry" skills
- Work collaboratively as team members
- Apply computer and Internet skills
- Learn core concepts of Earth and space science
- Integrate science, mathematics, technology, and geography concepts
- Learn to communicate more clearly and effectively
Who is eligible?
NSIP is open to all individuals and teams of children in grades K-12.
How to enter
Resource Guides are available for each competition
Prepare a project using the NSIP Resource Guides and competition rules for guidance. Complete an official entry form and mail your project in by the deadlines. Resource Guides and the Entry Packet are available from the NSIP Web site.
The deadline for entering the Space Flight Opportunities competition is January 15, 2004. The deadline for all other competitions is January 31, 2004.
All student and teacher participants are recognized with awards designed to foster excitement about the NASA Enterprises. Awards for top entries include the presentation of NASA Award Programs at elementary and middle schools; trips to the National Symposium which honor participants, facilitate their interaction with experts in their competition category, and connect them with the work and career opportunities at NASA Centers; and, scholarships to Space Camp for middle school national winners.
Winners of the Space Flight Opportunities (SFO) competition earn a trip to Wallops Space Flight Center where they work with NASA engineers and scientists to build and fly their award winning experiments on either sounding rockets or the Space Shuttle.
There are competitions for all grade levels
My Planet Earth
Grades K-1: Whole class
Grades 2-4: Teams of 2-4 or whole class
Select a study site in your neighborhood and get to know its features. NASA research scientists have learned that the Earth shows different faces and tells different stories when it is observed and described from many perspectives. Students identify and describe features and creatures of the air, land, and water. Their drawings and observations of the site are gathered, shared, and combined into one story. This is an excellent culminating activity and can be readily linked with your local community environmental focus and environmental education resources such as the GLOBE program and Project WILD.
Aerospace Technology Engineering Challenge
Last year's winners presented their project before a Senate hearing
Grades 5-8: Teams of 2-4
NASA aerospace engineers must balance their need for speed against the need for lighter, stronger materials. In this competition, students construct and test a structure that can withstand the forces of launch. Students will create a durable, lightweight, and reusable thrust structure with inexpensive everyday materials. Using scientific inquiry, critical thinking, systematic observation, and analysis of data, students will gain insight into the engineering design process. By designing, building, testing, and redesigning their own models, students will gain firsthand knowledge about the challenges faced by NASA engineers as they work on the next generation of aerospace vehicles.
Science & Technology Journalism
Grades K-1: Whole class
Grades 2-4: Whole class or teams of 2-4
Grades 5-8: Individuals or teams of 2-4
Grades 9-12: Individuals or teams of 2-4
Students prepare a print or video news story related to the Century of Flight. What happened on a cold windswept beach near Kitty Hawk, NC, on December 17, 1903? What were the events leading up to this milestone? How did this event change the world? Who are others who have or are exploring the fundamentals of flight? What are the benefits to our world? What is the future of aviation? What research is happening right now? Inventions? Can you predict future aviation milestones?
Watching Earth Change
Grades 5-8: Teams or individual
Grades 9-12: Individual
This is a great opportunity for original student exploration! Students may choose from an unlimited number of topics such as animal migration, global warming, conservation, severe weather events, volcanoes, ozone depletion, urban growth, and more. Cutting-edge NASA science and technology enable observations of the Earth system with unprecedented depth and detail. The challenge is for students to use NASA data (e.g., satellite data, graphs, maps, aerial photos, etc.) to test their own hypotheses about how Earth is changing. The Thacher Scholarship, a $4,000 independently funded prize, will be awarded to one grade 9–12 NASA Center winner in this competition.
Design a Mission to Mars and Beyond!
NSIP promotes teamwork
Grades 5-8: Individual or teams of 2-4
Grades 9-12: Individual or teams of 2-4
Explore Our Solar System! Investigate the solar system via a mission you create. If you could send a mission to any planet, moon, asteroid, or other object in the solar system, what would you look for, and how would you do it? Define the interplanetary question(s) you want your mission to answer. Then, design a mission to answer the question(s). You may design a robotic, orbital, flyby, lander, sample return mission, or even send humans to explore firsthand.
Space Flight Opportunities
Grades 9-12: Teams of 2-4
NASA will fly experiments chosen from NSIP entries for each of two Space Flight Opportunities:
- Space Experience Module (SEM) experiments fly on the Space Shuttle, and
- Sub-SEM experiments fly above 99.8% of the atmosphere on a dedicated NASA sounding rocket
Design an experiment to fly on one of these opportunities, learning about the unique characteristics of flight, good experimental design, and much more. You can receive help with your design by submitting an optional Letter of Intent.
The teacher and up to four student representatives of each team selected for flight will win an expense-paid trip to Student Flight Week at the NASA Wallops Flight Facility in Virginia. Additional awards may be made as well for high-ranking entries. During SEM Flight Week, SEM experiments will be examined and packaged to await Shuttle flight. During Sub-SEM Flight Week (launch conditions permitting) the Sub-SEM rocket will be flown.
NASA Student Involvement Program (NSIP)
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