NASA, TI team on space-themed STEM coding contest

NASA, TI team on space-themed STEM coding contest

Market news |
By Rich Pell

The NASA & TI Codes Contest challenges middle and high school students who are learning remotely to improve a process or product on the ISS. For example, say the organizations, this could be a better way to help astronauts stay in shape or a more efficient process to communicate with Mission Control – if it’s related to the space station, it’s eligible to win.

“As NASA celebrates the 20th anniversary of continuous human presence aboard the International Space Station and prepares to send astronauts to the Moon and on to Mars, we remain focused on the future,” says Mike Kincaid, Associate Administrator for NASA’s Office of STEM Engagement. “The Artemis Generation [the class of astronauts planned for the agency’s latest lunar program] is that future and creating opportunities that encourage teamwork, collaboration, and problem solving will put them on the course to become the next generation of explorers.”

The NASA & TI Codes Contest is simple to enter, say the organizations, and encourages teams of up to five students to work together virtually to submit a written proposal outlining the process or existing product they want to improve aboard the orbiting laboratory. A panel of judges from TI and NASA will determine which teams move on.

As teams advance, they must start coding and building their proposed design and showcase it in a video. The public will vote on their favorite video and up to five teams will have the opportunity to visit NASA’s Johnson Space Center in Houston this fall, if travel conditions improve, for a behind-the-scenes tour and to present their designs in person.

“This coding challenge gives students a break from learning on their screens and encourages some much needed social interaction as teams work together toward a common goal,” says Peter Balyta, president of TI Education Technology. “Now, more than ever, we’re seeing the need to develop future problem solvers and creative thinkers with the STEM skills needed to make our world a safer, healthier, and better place.”

Each member of the winning team will receive a TI graphing calculator and TI’s calculator-controlled robotic vehicle, the TI-Innovator Rover. The teacher or adult that sponsors the winning team also wins a $250 gift card to help cover the cost of future class activities. All students who accept the mission will automatically be entered to win TI technology and NASA-themed items at the end of the contest.

The contest period is from April 23 to August 21, 2020. The deadline for submissions is May 21, 2020, at 11:59 PM Central Time. For more, see the full contest rules.

Texas Instruments

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