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For Students Current Opportunities

Current Opportunities for Students

Click on your grade level to find things you can do with NASA. Check this page often for new items.

Grades K-4

2014-2015 FIRST Robotic Competitions
The FIRST robotics programs challenge teams to design and build a robot in a six-week timeframe to play games that change every year. Several FIRST programs are available, covering students ages 6-18. The FIRST Robotics Competition, or FRC, is targeted at high school students, and is the largest of the FIRST programs. In the FRC, students work side-by-side with professional engineers to create their robots while experiencing the entire engineering life cycle. The FRC Kickoff, the official start of the design-and-build season, is set for Jan. 3, 2015. Visit the site to find a kickoff event near you.

2014-2015 NASA Goddard OPTIMUS PRIME Spinoff Challenge
NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center is launching the 2014-2015 TRANSFORMERS OPTIMUS PRIME Spinoff Challenge. Spinoffs are technologies originally created for space and modified into everyday products used on Earth. The scope of this year's contest is being expanded to include two challenges: a video challenge for grades 3-12 and an InWorld Challenge for grades 6-12. Winning students from each grade category will be invited to Goddard to participate in a behind-the-scenes workshop, attend a VIP awards ceremony and meet actor Peter Cullen, the voice of OPTIMUS PRIME. The deadline to register and upload videos is Jan. 12, 2015.

Help NASA Find New Planetary Systems -- Become a Disk Detective!
Help NASA find new disks, homes of extrasolar planets, by classifying images from NASA's Wide-field Infrared Survey Explorer telescope and other observatories. In this citizen science project, you'll view animated images of disk candidates and classify them, distinguishing good candidates from galaxies, asteroids and image artifacts. This project, suitable for elementary students through expert adults, will yield targets for the James Webb Space Telescope and publications in professional scientific literature. The project is expected to run through 2018.

Citizen Science: Asteroid Mappers
NASA's Dawn Mission invites you to investigate and analyze high-resolution Dawn images of the giant asteroid Vesta, including craters and other features, from your own computer. The Dawn Mission's spacecraft has gathered intriguing data, including tens of thousands of images, more than the Dawn team has time to analyze in detail. That's where you come in. Register today to help the Dawn Science Team make sense of new elements on the surface of Vesta and learn more about this mysterious world.

Curiosity Explorer Badge on Foursquare
NASA and the mobile application Foursquare have teamed up to help the public unlock its scientific curiosity with a new rover-themed Curiosity Explorer badge. Users of the Foursquare social media platform can earn the badge by following NASA and checking in at a NASA visitor center or venue categorized as a science museum or planetarium. Foursquare users also can keep up with Curiosity as the rover checks in at key locations and posts photos and tips, all while exploring the Red Planet.

New Horizons Kids Club
New Horizons wasn't the only voyage launched on January 19, 2006. The New Horizons team welcomes five new "Pluto Pals." The five students were born on the same day the spacecraft started on its historic journey the outer solar system.

Rock Around the World
Mars scientists are asking students from around the world to help them understand the red planet. Send in a rock collected by you or your classroom from your region of the world, and we will use a special tool like the one on the rover to tell you what it's made of. Then everyone can compare their rocks to the ones found on Mars.

Grades 5-8

2014-2015 FIRST Robotic Competitions
The FIRST robotics programs challenge teams to design and build a robot in a six-week timeframe to play games that change every year. Several FIRST programs are available, covering students ages 6-18. The FIRST Robotics Competition, or FRC, is targeted at high school students, and is the largest of the FIRST programs. In the FRC, students work side-by-side with professional engineers to create their robots while experiencing the entire engineering life cycle. The FRC Kickoff, the official start of the design-and-build season, is set for Jan. 3, 2015. Visit the site to find a kickoff event near you.

Free Program -- Cubes in Space™
Idoodlelearning™, the Colorado Space Grant Consortium and NASA's Langley Research Center are offering a free science, technology, engineering, the arts and mathematics focused education program for students ages 11-18. Cubes in Space™ provides students an opportunity to design and compete to launch an experiment into space via sounding rocket from Wallops Flight Facility in June 2015 and a scientific balloon from the Columbia Scientific Balloon Facility in September 2015. The deadline for program registration is Jan. 12, 2015.

2014-2015 NASA Goddard OPTIMUS PRIME Spinoff Challenge
NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center is launching the 2014-2015 TRANSFORMERS OPTIMUS PRIME Spinoff Challenge. Spinoffs are technologies originally created for space and modified into everyday products used on Earth. The scope of this year's contest is being expanded to include two challenges: a video challenge for grades 3-12 and an InWorld Challenge for grades 6-12. Winning students from each grade category will be invited to Goddard to participate in a behind-the-scenes workshop, attend a VIP awards ceremony and meet actor Peter Cullen, the voice of OPTIMUS PRIME. The deadline to register and upload videos is Jan. 12, 2015.

Help NASA Find New Planetary Systems -- Become a Disk Detective!
Help NASA find new disks, homes of extrasolar planets, by classifying images from NASA's Wide-field Infrared Survey Explorer telescope and other observatories. In this citizen science project, you'll view animated images of disk candidates and classify them, distinguishing good candidates from galaxies, asteroids and image artifacts. This project, suitable for elementary students through expert adults, will yield targets for the James Webb Space Telescope and publications in professional scientific literature. The project is expected to run through 2018.

Citizen Science: Asteroid Mappers
NASA's Dawn Mission invites you to investigate and analyze high-resolution Dawn images of the giant asteroid Vesta, including craters and other features, from your own computer. The Dawn Mission's spacecraft has gathered intriguing data, including tens of thousands of images, more than the Dawn team has time to analyze in detail. That's where you come in. Register today to help the Dawn Science Team make sense of new elements on the surface of Vesta and learn more about this mysterious world.

Curiosity Explorer Badge on Foursquare
NASA and the mobile application Foursquare have teamed up to help the public unlock its scientific curiosity with a new rover-themed Curiosity Explorer badge. Users of the Foursquare social media platform can earn the badge by following NASA and checking in at a NASA visitor center or venue categorized as a science museum or planetarium. Foursquare users also can keep up with Curiosity as the rover checks in at key locations and posts photos and tips, all while exploring the Red Planet.

Rock Around the World
Mars scientists are asking students from around the world to help them understand the red planet. Send in a rock collected by you or your classroom from your region of the world, and we will use a special tool like the one on the rover to tell you what it's made of. Then everyone can compare their rocks to the ones found on Mars.

Grades 9-12

2014-2015 FIRST Robotic Competitions
The FIRST robotics programs challenge teams to design and build a robot in a six-week timeframe to play games that change every year. Several FIRST programs are available, covering students ages 6-18. The FIRST Robotics Competition, or FRC, is targeted at high school students, and is the largest of the FIRST programs. In the FRC, students work side-by-side with professional engineers to create their robots while experiencing the entire engineering life cycle. The FRC Kickoff, the official start of the design-and-build season, is set for Jan. 3, 2015. Visit the site to find a kickoff event near you.

Free Program -- Cubes in Space™
Idoodlelearning™, the Colorado Space Grant Consortium and NASA's Langley Research Center are offering a free science, technology, engineering, the arts and mathematics focused education program for students ages 11-18. Cubes in Space™ provides students an opportunity to design and compete to launch an experiment into space via sounding rocket from Wallops Flight Facility in June 2015 and a scientific balloon from the Columbia Scientific Balloon Facility in September 2015. The deadline for program registration is Jan. 12, 2015.

2015 NASA Human Exploration Rover Challenge
Registration is now open for the 2015 NASA Human Exploration Rover Challenge. The race will take place April 16-18, 2015, in Huntsville, Alabama, at the U.S. Space & Rocket Center. Teams of high school and college students are challenged to design and build a human-powered vehicle designed to traverse the simulated surface of another world while meeting certain NASA specifications. Each school may enter up to two teams. International teams must register by Jan. 9, 2015. U.S. teams must register by Feb. 6, 2015.

2014-2015 NASA Goddard OPTIMUS PRIME Spinoff Challenge
NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center is launching the 2014-2015 TRANSFORMERS OPTIMUS PRIME Spinoff Challenge. Spinoffs are technologies originally created for space and modified into everyday products used on Earth. The scope of this year's contest is being expanded to include two challenges: a video challenge for grades 3-12 and an InWorld Challenge for grades 6-12. Winning students from each grade category will be invited to Goddard to participate in a behind-the-scenes workshop, attend a VIP awards ceremony and meet actor Peter Cullen, the voice of OPTIMUS PRIME. The deadline to register and upload videos is Jan. 12, 2015.

Free Lecture -- Observing the Origin of the Universe From the South Pole
After three years of observing from the South Pole, scientists may have found confirmation that the universe underwent a burst of inflationary growth at the time of the Big Bang. On Jan. 24, 2015, cosmologist Colin Bischoff will discuss these findings as well as the excitement of astronomy from Antarctica. The lecture begins at 5:15 p.m. EST at the Albert Einstein Planetarium at the National Air and Space Museum in the District of Columbia. Stay after the lecture to visit the observatory, weather permitting.

Free Lecture -- Tracing the Structure of the Universe With Galaxy Surveys
Studies of galaxy formation and cosmology have exploded in recent years due to the immense data obtained from large galaxy surveys. On Feb. 21, 2015, postdoctoral fellow Cameron McBride will discuss how observational data and theory are combined to better understand fundamental questions in our universe. The lecture begins at 5:15 p.m. EST at the Albert Einstein Planetarium at the National Air and Space Museum in the District of Columbia. Stay after the lecture to visit the observatory, weather permitting.

Help NASA Find New Planetary Systems -- Become a Disk Detective!
Help NASA find new disks, homes of extrasolar planets, by classifying images from NASA's Wide-field Infrared Survey Explorer telescope and other observatories. In this citizen science project, you'll view animated images of disk candidates and classify them, distinguishing good candidates from galaxies, asteroids and image artifacts. This project, suitable for elementary students through expert adults, will yield targets for the James Webb Space Telescope and publications in professional scientific literature. The project is expected to run through 2018.

NASA Visitor Centers: Passport to Explore Space
Join the Passport to Explore Space program! Your mission is to visit all 14 visitor centers and space shuttle locations. Each NASA Visitor Center offers a unique focus and scope of work, contributing to the overall mission of America’s space program. Membership in the free program includes an official 8-page Passport to Explore Space that you can get stamped at each site. Members receive discounts on admission, tours, food and retail at participating locations in addition to stamped certification of visits and a newsletter.

Youth For Understanding USA
Youth For Understanding, or YFU, USA, a nonprofit leader in youth exchange programs, is reaching out to educators, parents and students who are excited about learning and intercultural exchange. YFU awards $1.6 million in annual scholarships to U.S. high school students to study abroad. YFU also seeks host families and mentors nationwide for international exchange students arriving in August to attend high schools nationwide. For more on YFU opportunities, visit http://www.yfu-usa.org or call 1-800-TEENAGE. The U.S. Department of State sponsors multiple programs for educational, cultural and professional exchanges across the world and also for American citizens to go abroad. To learn more, visit http://exchanges.state.gov/us. Join in the fun and make a difference!

Citizen Science: Asteroid Mappers
NASA's Dawn Mission invites you to investigate and analyze high-resolution Dawn images of the giant asteroid Vesta, including craters and other features, from your own computer. The Dawn Mission's spacecraft has gathered intriguing data, including tens of thousands of images, more than the Dawn team has time to analyze in detail. That's where you come in. Register today to help the Dawn Science Team make sense of new elements on the surface of Vesta and learn more about this mysterious world.

Curiosity Explorer Badge on Foursquare
NASA and the mobile application Foursquare have teamed up to help the public unlock its scientific curiosity with a new rover-themed Curiosity Explorer badge. Users of the Foursquare social media platform can earn the badge by following NASA and checking in at a NASA visitor center or venue categorized as a science museum or planetarium. Foursquare users also can keep up with Curiosity as the rover checks in at key locations and posts photos and tips, all while exploring the Red Planet.
 

Higher Education

NASA Robotic Mining Competition 2015
Design it. Build it. Dig it. The Sixth Annual NASA Robotic Mining Competition will be held May 18-22, 2015, at NASA's Kennedy Space Center. NASA's Robotic Mining Competition is for university-level students, enrolled in a U.S. college or university. Teams are challenged to design and build a mining robot that can traverse simulated Martian chaotic terrain, excavate Martian regolith and deposit the regolith into a collector bin within 10 minutes. Registration is now open and limited to 50 teams.

NASA Research Opportunities in Aeronautics
NASA's Aeronautics Research Mission Directorate is seeking proposals from higher education institutions that are interested in conducting research related to a variety of topics in aeronautics fundamental research that are being pursued by NASA personnel. Awards will be made as grants, cooperative agreements or contracts, depending on the nature of the proposing organization and/or program requirements. Proposal due dates begin Feb. 28, 2014 and end Dec. 31, 2014.

2015 NASA and Worcester Polytechnic Institute Sample Return Robot Challenge
NASA and the Worcester Polytechnic Institute in Worcester, Massachusetts, are seeking teams to compete in a robot technology demonstration competition with a potential $1.5 million prize purse. Teams will compete to demonstrate a robot that can locate and retrieve geologic samples from a wide and varied terrain without human control. Registration is open until Jan. 6, 2015. The competition will take place June 8-13, 2015.

2015 NASA Human Exploration Rover Challenge
Registration is now open for the 2015 NASA Human Exploration Rover Challenge. The race will take place April 16-18, 2015, in Huntsville, Alabama, at the U.S. Space & Rocket Center. Teams of high school and college students are challenged to design and build a human-powered vehicle designed to traverse the simulated surface of another world while meeting certain NASA specifications. Each school may enter up to two teams. International teams must register by Jan. 9, 2015. U.S. teams must register by Feb. 6, 2015.

2015 RASC-AL Aerospace Concepts Design Competition
The 2015 Revolutionary Aerospace Systems Concepts-Academic Linkage, or RASC-AL, competition is a design project contest open to full-time undergraduate or graduate students majoring in engineering or science at an accredited college or university. RASC-AL challenges participants to design projects based on real NASA problems, responding to one of four themes. Concepts derived from the design projects could potentially be implemented by NASA. University teams must submit abstracts by Jan. 11, 2015.

Free Lecture -- Observing the Origin of the Universe From the South Pole
After three years of observing from the South Pole, scientists may have found confirmation that the universe underwent a burst of inflationary growth at the time of the Big Bang. On Jan. 24, 2015, cosmologist Colin Bischoff will discuss these findings as well as the excitement of astronomy from Antarctica. The lecture begins at 5:15 p.m. EST at the Albert Einstein Planetarium at the National Air and Space Museum in the District of Columbia. Stay after the lecture to visit the observatory, weather permitting.

2015 NOAA Undergraduate Scholarship
The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration is accepting applications for its 2015 Educational Partnership Program Undergraduate Scholarship Program. The program provides scholarships for two years of undergraduate study to rising junior undergraduate students attending Minority Serving Institutions. A stipend and housing allowance is provided. Applicants must be U.S. citizens and must earn and maintain a minimum 3.2 grade point average on a 4.0 scale. Applications are due Jan. 30, 2015.

NASA History Program Office Summer 2015 Internships
The NASA History Program Office is seeking undergraduate and graduate students for summer 2015 internships. The History Division maintains archival materials to answer research questions. The division edits and publishes several books and monographs each year, and it maintains websites and social media featuring NASA history. Strong research, writing and editing skills are essential to the internship. Students of all majors are welcome to apply. Applications are due Feb. 1, 2015.

2015 Planetary Geology and Geophysics Undergraduate Research Program
The Planetary Geology and Geophysics Undergraduate Research Program pairs qualified undergraduate students with NASA-funded investigators at research locations across the U.S. for eight weeks during the summer. Undergraduate students majoring in geology or related sciences are eligible to apply. Students graduating in 2015 who have not yet started graduate school are also eligible. Preference is given to U.S. citizens and permanent residents. Applications are due Feb. 2, 2015.

2015-16 NASA Earth and Space Science Fellowships
The NASA Earth and Space Science Fellowship, or NESSF, program is accepting proposals for the 2015-2016 academic year. Applications must be from accredited U.S. universities on behalf of individuals pursuing master’s or doctoral degrees in earth and space sciences, or related disciplines. NASA will award training grants to the respective universities, with the advisor serving as principal investigator. The maximum NESSF award is $30,000 per year. Proposals are due Feb. 2, 2015.

2015 NASA Student Airborne Research Program
The NASA Student Airborne Research Program seeks applications from current junior undergraduate students. The program provides students with hands-on research experience in all aspects of a major scientific campaign. Participants will assist in the operation of instruments aboard a DC-8 aircraft to sample and measure atmospheric gases and to image land and water surfaces in multiple spectral bands. Participants receive a stipend, and living expenses are covered. Applications are due Feb. 5, 2015.

2015-16 Virginia Space Grant Consortium Undergraduate STEM Research Scholarship
The Virginia Space Grant Consortium is offering undergraduate research scholarships of up to $8,500 to encourage talented individuals to conduct research in science, technology, engineering or mathematics, or STEM, fields. Participants must take part in an active faculty-mentored research experience that aligns with the aerospace sector and meets NASA's mission. Applicants must be enrolled fulltime at The College of William and Mary, Hampton University, Old Dominion University, University of Virginia or Virginia Tech. Applications are due Feb. 9, 2015.

2015-16 Virginia Space Grant Consortium Graduate STEM Research Fellowship
The Virginia Space Grant Consortium's Graduate STEM Research Fellowship Program provides fellowships of $6,000 in add-on support to graduate students to supplement and enhance basic research in fields related to science, technology, engineering and mathematics, or STEM. Research should support NASA's mission. Applicants must be U.S. citizens and enrolled fulltime at The College of William and Mary, Hampton University, Old Dominion University, University of Virginia or Virginia Tech. Applications are due Feb. 9, 2015.

National Space Biomedical Research Institute's Graduate Education Program in Space Life Sciences
The NSBRI-sponsored training program in space life sciences enables students to pursue doctorate degrees at Texas A&M University and focus their research on space life sciences and fields related to the space initiative. Texas A&M is recruiting participants for fall 2015. Students will pursue degrees in biomedical engineering, genetics, kinesiology, health physics or nutrition, or an M.D./Ph.D. or a Ph.D. in medical sciences. Application packages are due Feb. 17, 2015.

Free Lecture -- Tracing the Structure of the Universe With Galaxy Surveys
Studies of galaxy formation and cosmology have exploded in recent years due to the immense data obtained from large galaxy surveys. On Feb. 21, 2015, postdoctoral fellow Cameron McBride will discuss how observational data and theory are combined to better understand fundamental questions in our universe. The lecture begins at 5:15 p.m. EST at the Albert Einstein Planetarium at the National Air and Space Museum in the District of Columbia. Stay after the lecture to visit the observatory, weather permitting.

2015 Summer Undergraduate Research Fellowships
Caltech's Summer Undergraduate Research Fellowships, or SURF, project introduces undergraduate students to research under the guidance of seasoned mentors at Caltech or NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory, or JPL. Students collaborate with potential mentors to define and develop a project and to write research proposals. Caltech faculty or JPL staff review the proposals and recommend awards. Students work over a 10-week period in the summer. The application deadline is Feb. 22, 2015.

NASA Postdoctoral Program Fellowships
The NASA Postdoctoral Program supports NASA's goal to expand scientific understanding of the Earth and the universe in which we live. NPP fellows complete one- to three-year fellowships that offer scientists and engineers unique opportunities to conduct research in fields of science relevant to NASA. Applicants must have completed a doctorate or equivalent degree before beginning the fellowship, but may apply while completing degree requirements. Applications are due March 1, 2015.

2015-16 Virginia Space Grant Consortium STEM Bridge Scholarship
The Virginia Space Grant Consortium is offering renewable scholarships to sophomore undergraduate students studying science, technology, engineering or mathematics, or STEM. The STEM Bridge Scholarships are $1,000 and are available to students who are U.S. citizens from any federally recognized minority group enrolled fulltime at The College of William and Mary, Hampton University, Old Dominion University, University of Virginia or Virginia Tech. Applications are due March 16, 2015.

Airport Cooperative Research Program -- University Design Competition for Addressing Airport Needs
The Airport Cooperative Research Program is accepting applications for its national competition that engages university students in addressing issues relating to airports and the National Airspace System. Managed by the Virginia Space Grant Consortium, the competition is open to teams or individuals from accredited U.S. colleges and universities who are working with a faculty advisor. Cash awards will be given to top individuals or teams in four technical design challenge areas. Submissions are due April 30, 2015.

2020 Electric General Aviation NASA Aeronautics Design Challenge
Electric-powered aircraft have the potential to revolutionize the way we travel. Student teams are invited to design an electric (i.e., no combustion) general aviation aircraft that meets performance requirements and is operational by 2020. Multidisciplinary teams are encouraged. The contest is open to college teams in the United States or its territories. Letters of intent will be accepted through Jan. 16, 2015. Final entries are due May 8, 2015.

NASA History Program Office Fall 2015 Internships
The NASA History Program Office is seeking undergraduate and graduate students for fall 2015 internships. The History Division maintains archival materials to answer research questions. The division edits and publishes several books and monographs each year, and it maintains websites and social media featuring NASA history. Strong research, writing and editing skills are essential to the internship. Students of all majors are welcome to apply. Applications are due June 1, 2015.

NASA Postdoctoral Program Fellowships
The NASA Postdoctoral Program supports NASA's goal to expand scientific understanding of the Earth and the universe in which we live. NPP fellows complete one- to three-year fellowships that offer scientists and engineers unique opportunities to conduct research in fields of science relevant to NASA. Applicants must have completed a doctorate or equivalent degree before beginning the fellowship, but may apply while completing degree requirements. Applications are due July 1, 2015.

NASA Postdoctoral Program Fellowships
The NASA Postdoctoral Program supports NASA's goal to expand scientific understanding of the Earth and the universe in which we live. NPP fellows complete one- to three-year fellowships that offer scientists and engineers unique opportunities to conduct research in fields of science relevant to NASA. Applicants must have completed a doctorate or equivalent degree before beginning the fellowship, but may apply while completing degree requirements. Applications are due Nov. 1, 2015.

NASA's Cube Quest Challenge
Registration now is open for NASA's Cube Quest Challenge, advancing communication and propulsion technology for CubeSats. Competitors can win a share of $5 million in prize money and an opportunity to fly their own CubeSat to deep space. Teams can compete to be a secondary payload on the first integrated flight of NASA's Orion spacecraft and Space Launch System rocket, or launch themselves with an independent launch provider. Check the Cube Quest Challenge website for additional information.

Help NASA Find New Planetary Systems -- Become a Disk Detective!
Help NASA find new disks, homes of extrasolar planets, by classifying images from NASA's Wide-field Infrared Survey Explorer telescope and other observatories. In this citizen science project, you'll view animated images of disk candidates and classify them, distinguishing good candidates from galaxies, asteroids and image artifacts. This project, suitable for elementary students through expert adults, will yield targets for the James Webb Space Telescope and publications in professional scientific literature. The project is expected to run through 2018.

Citizen Science: Asteroid Mappers
NASA's Dawn Mission invites you to investigate and analyze high-resolution Dawn images of the giant asteroid Vesta, including craters and other features, from your own computer. The Dawn Mission's spacecraft has gathered intriguing data, including tens of thousands of images, more than the Dawn team has time to analyze in detail. That's where you come in. Register today to help the Dawn Science Team make sense of new elements on the surface of Vesta and learn more about this mysterious world.

Curiosity Explorer Badge on Foursquare
NASA and the mobile application Foursquare have teamed up to help the public unlock its scientific curiosity with a new rover-themed Curiosity Explorer badge. Users of the Foursquare social media platform can earn the badge by following NASA and checking in at a NASA visitor center or venue categorized as a science museum or planetarium. Foursquare users also can keep up with Curiosity as the rover checks in at key locations and posts photos and tips, all while exploring the Red Planet.
Page Last Updated: December 19th, 2014
Page Editor: Flint Wild