The Center for the Advancement of Science in Space (CASIS) and the BSA’s Chicago Area Council have teamed up for the Space Station National Design Challenge, a student research competition in Chicago. Winning projects have the chance to make a pretty epic voyage to the International Space Station.
This collaboration, aimed at sparking youth interest in the fields of science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM), marks a long history between the space program and Scouting. In fact, 11 of the 12 astronauts who have been on the moon were Scouts. What’s more, CASIS President and Executive Director Gregory H. Johnson is a proud Eagle Scout and former astronaut.
But youth with interests extending beyond the traditional STEM fields will participate. Along with aspiring engineers and scientists, competing teams will include members interested in graphic arts, drafting, moviemaking, programming, and various other fields.
“The Boy Scouts of America has created leaders for more than 100 years and our youth must now take the lead in STEM,” said Nancy Elder, Director for Strategic and Corporate Alliances for Pathway to Adventure Council. “Scouting has long embraced STEM by providing young people with real-world hands-on learning experiences ranging from cleaning habitats in national parks to programming robots. The partnership with CASIS will engage our youth and volunteers in a unique and cutting-edge experience by adding their research projects to the final frontier: space.”
How to Get Involved in the Space Station National Design Challenge
In the competition, participants will work in teams of 10 to 20 to plan and execute experiments that can fit into miniature labs about half the size of a shoebox.
CASIS will then select three winning experiments to be flown to the International Space Station in the summer of 2016.
To learn more about the contest, including upcoming information sessions and how to submit a proposal, please visit CASIS’s site.