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NASA Engineering Challenges

NASA Engineering Challenges, operated by the NASA Florida Space Grant Consortium, provides an incredible opportunity to students from three different Community Colleges in Florida to become directly involved with NASA and earn a $5,000 stipend.   The program will engage students in a STEM Education program focused on introductory versions of NASA’s traditional challenges/projects targeted at four year universities. The challenges include: building a high altitude balloon experiment, constructing a robotic vehicle, and launching a hydro-powered rocket.  Technical experience is not required to apply for this program. Engineering Challenges seeks a diversity of students with different skill sets, who are motivated to take on the these challenges.

Thirty students, represented by ten students from each Community College, will be selected through a competitive online application process. These ten students will be divided into two teams at each school. Each team will be provided with instructional materials, parts, and materials necessary to compete in each of the three challenges. The teams will meet on a weekly basis during the Spring semester to build, test, and refine their entries. A STEM faculty member has been assigned by each school to serve as local advisor to the teams. In addition, guidance will be provided remotely via webinars conducted by project advisers located at the Kennedy Space Center Visitors Center.

The NASA Engineering Challenges program will culminate in students traveling to Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex during the summer to participate in an “Olympic” style event in which they will compete on teams in the three different technical challenges.

Those students that complete the program will be awarded a $5,000 stipend.  They will also be provided with the opportunity to participate in a Virtual College Recruitment fair where they can connect with STEM programs at 4 Year Universities.


Students currently enrolled from the following schools are eligible to apply:

  • Florida Keys Community College (FKCC)
  • Hillsborough Community College (HCC)
  • North Florida Community College (NFCC)



  • Beginning September 8, 2015 and ending November 16, 2015


TIMELINE: Click Here for Full Program Schedule

September 8, 2015 – Begin accepting student applications
October 28, 2015Recruitment Webinar will be held to explain program to students
November 16, 2015 – Deadline for student applications
December 2, 2015 – Ten students selected from each college and are notified via email
January 29, 2016 – Subject Matter Experts conducts Webinar with students and Advisors on High Altitude Balloon Experiment and Multimedia Deliverable
March 11, 2016 – Subject Matter Experts conducts Webinar with students and Advisors on Robotic Vehicle Challenge
April 21, 2016 – Subject Matter Experts conducts Webinar with students and Advisors on Hydro Powered Rocket Launch
June 7-9, 2016 - NASA Engineering Challenges Final Competition at the NASA Kennedy Space Center


Questions? Click here to visit the FAQ’s page