GRC Engineering Design Challenges

Glenn Education Contacts

Office of Education
Phone: (216) 433-6656
E-mail: grc-intern@mail.nasa.gov

Robert LaSalvia
Chief, Office of Education

Brian Willis
Plum Brook Station

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Engineering design challenges are an integral part of educational content where students have the opportunity to work on real world challenges in a collaborative, team-based environment, applying the lessons learned to the technical problems of the workplace.  GRC Engineering Design Challenges (EDCs) will connect students in their classrooms with the unique challenges faced by NASA scientists and engineers as they design the next generation of space vehicles, habitats, and technology.

What a GRC EDC Entails
GRC EDCs include a main challenge problem that the scientists and researchers at Glenn Research Center are currently studying.  They also include lead-up investigation activities that go deeper into the content and align directly with the Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS).

Students and Educators who participate in GRC EDCs have the opportunity to interact with NASA Subject Matter Experts (SMEs) and discuss their solutions to the challenge problem and the SMEs' work at NASA.

The EDCs conclude with the students submitting their solutions to the challenge problem in the form of a 5-minute response video to the NASA Education YouTube channel.

Current Design Challenges

Aerial View of NASA Glenn's Flight Research Building (hangar)Let It Glide - Engineering Design Challenge
Design and improve a glider made out of a shoebox that demonstrates the best glide properties when thrown.

Rover in SLOPE test bedGaining Traction on Mars - Engineering Design Challenge
Design a set of wheels for a Martian rover that performs best on a simulated extraterrestrial soil bed.

GRC EDC Participating Organizations

Design Challenge News:

Let It Glide
EDC Train-the-Trainer Workshop at NASA Glenn - 4/6/2016
View the Workshop Flyer (PDF)

Let It Glide
EDC Facilitation Workshop at NASA Glenn - 12/10/2015

Let It Glide
New Engineering Design Challenge Announced!
View the Challenge Overview

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For any questions regarding GRC Engineering Design Challenges, please send them to

Page Last Updated: April 1st, 2016
Page Editor: Christopher Hartenstine