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Centaur Design Challenge
September 4, 2013

[image-78]Centaur 50th Anniversary Engineering Design Challenge
“Pushing the Limits”


The Centaur Rocket has been dubbed “America’s Workhorse in Space” based on its innovation, efficiency, reliability, and extensive mission manifest. After its utilization in more than 200 unmanned missions, NASA’s Glenn Research Center (GRC) Educational Programs Office (EPO) is celebrating the 50th Anniversary of Centaur with an educational Engineering Design Challenge, featuring key elements of the rocket’s capabilities.

[image-51]Design Challenge:

Teams of students will design an air-propelled vehicle with a 25-gram payload that will travel along the ground from a “Launch Site” to a “Rendezvous Point” in geosynchronous orbit. In the process of this trip, the vehicle will need to completely stop in order to make a mid-course correction. After this correction is made, the vehicle will need to be restarted to complete the trip to the center of the Rendezvous Point.


Design Challenge Opportunities:

NASA Glenn’s Educational Programs Office will be hosting two opportunities relating to this challenge – a professional development session for educators, and a design competition for students to demonstrate their knowledge of an engineering design process.


Student Design Challenge Competition

Opportunity: Students will represent their schools at the design challenge competition and present their solution to a panel of NASA judges and subject matter experts. Prizes will be awarded to the team’s top scoring designs.
Participants: Groups of 4 to 6 students in grades 7 through 9
Date: November 22, 2013 - 10:00 am - 2:00 pm
Location: Great Lakes Science Center
601 Erieside Ave.
Cleveland, OH 44114

Registration is now open: Complete this form and submit it to the email address listed on the form.


Key Dates:

October 1 – Registration Begins for Design Challenge Competition
November 1 – Registration Ends for Design Challenge Competition
November 22 – Centaur 50th Design Challenge Competition Event


Facilitation Guide: To assist educators in conducting the activity, the following Facilitation Guide has been developed.

Centaur50thDesignChallengeGuide - FULL VERSION

The guide in Chapter form is below, just click to open the pdf.

- Centaur: America’s Workhorse in Space
- Facilitator Notes
- National Standards Alignment
- Student Design Challenge Guide
- Definitions
- Student Data Sheet
- Challenge Field Map Specifications
- Engineering Design Process
- Written Component Guidelines
- NASA Education Pre and Post-Assessment
- Assessment Rubric
- Optional Base Vehicle Assembly and Instructions
- Optional Classroom Activities and Resources

Engineering/Exploration Design Challenge Design Packet for Middle/High School


Related Educational Activities

Air-Powered Mass - http://education.ssc.nasa.gov/pdf/mvw/MVW_Air_Powered_Mass_Activity.pdf

Rocket Races - http://www.nasa.gov/audience/foreducators/topnav/materials/listbytype/Rocket_Races.html

Newton Cars - http://www.nasa.gov/audience/foreducators/topnav/materials/listbytype/Newton_Car.html

Make a Balloon Powered Nanorover - http://www.nasa.gov/pdf/544869main_E3_Nanorover_C2.pdf


Centaur Resources

Centaur: America's Workhorse in Space - http://www.nasa.gov/centers/glenn/about/history/centaur.html
Centaur Launched a Generation of Interplanetary Missions - http://www.nasa.gov/centers/glenn/about/history/centaur_anniv.html
Taming Liquid Hydrogen: The Centaur Upper Stage Rocket 1958 – 2002 - http://history.nasa.gov/SP-4230.pdf



For any questions regarding this opportunity, please contact:

Angela Surgenor
NASA Glenn Research Center
Educational Programs Office
(216) 433-3251


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Challenge Field Map
Challenge Field Map
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Centaur Graphic
Centaur Americas Workhorse
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Page Last Updated: October 22nd, 2013
Page Editor: David Mazza