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NASA’s Applied Sciences Program joins the Space Technology Mission Directorate Flight Opportunities program in inviting 6th to 12th grade students to participate in a new challenge to design, build and launch experiments on suborbital rockets and balloon flights during the 2021/2022 school year. The Applied Sciences Prizes and Challenges Program is supporting the NASA TechRise Student Challenge, where students at U.S. public, private or charter schools can submit ideas for climate, remote-sensing or space exploration experiments to fly aboard a suborbital flight.

The challenge will provide students with the opportunity to engage with NASA and technology communities, and the results of this challenge could help inform future Applied Sciences research projects and enhance our knowledge of Earth. For example, experiments launched on a high-altitude balloon will be exposed to the Earth’s atmosphere and can capture data and images at 70,000 feet over more than four hours of flight time.

Prizes and Challenges manager Shobhana Gupta spoke about the opportunity at the TechRise Virtual Field Trip Event on September 24th, which was attended by over 130 classrooms. The Prizes and Challenges Program crowdsources ideas and solutions from people around the world through challenges like these to accelerate practical and effective solutions our planet’s toughest problems. A recording for this event can be viewed through the event playlist on YouTube.

Entries are due by November 23, 2021. A total of 57 winning teams will each receive $1,500 to build their experiment, a 3D-printed flight box in which to build it, and an assigned spot to test their experiment on a NASA-sponsored suborbital flight. More information on how to enter can be found on the TechRise Challenge website.

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