Student Support Services

21st Century Community Learning Centers

US Department of Education (US ED)/NASA STEM Challenge Project 2020-21

NASA/US Department of Education STEM Design Challenge 2020-21

INSPIRE. ENGAGE. EDUCATE. EMPLOY…the Next Generation of Explorers.

Updates and Important Information for NYS 21st CCLC NASA participants

State and Site Virtual Planning Meeting: Note: NYS Power Point (October 2020) PDF Document

Virtual Professional Development
February 18-19, 2021

PD Training Videos

Day One Morning external link (58 Mins.)   Day One Afternoon external link (61 Mins.)   

Day Two Morning external link (71 Mins.)  Day Two Afternoon external link (74 Mins.)

NASA and New York State 21st CCLC Timeline  PDF Document Updated May 6,2021) Note: This timeline serves to provide participating sites with important reminders, dates, and action steps from February 2021 to May 2021 and is subject to change.

Implementation Start Date: March 1, 2021
Video Submission Due Date: May 14, 2021
Statewide Culminating Virtual Event: May 20, 2021 via Web-EX. Save the Date Flyer PDF Document

Link to NYSED and NASA 2021 Virtual Showcase: Theme: Perseverance external link

State-Level Media Toolkit:
NASA Fact SheetPDF Document revised 4/15/20

Media Toolkits, Social Media and Hashtags:

Participating Sites (with approved Student Release forms) are encouraged to document and/or share the NASA project from beginning to end. We highly recommend participating sites use the NASA Media Toolkit (local-level) to help inform all stakeholders and community members about site activities. Each of the toolkit documents (including press releases, newsletter updates, and social media posts) are customizable, allowing you to easily adapt them to your specific needs. They help to drive the recognition that your program and students deserve.

The following are hashtags being used for this project: 

#NASASTEM     #21stCenturySTEM      #NYSEDNASA

STEM Challenge Background


A partnership between NASA and the US Department of Education’s 21st Century Community Learning Centers


Sites execute a series of engineering design challenges in the 3rd-8th grades, enabling them to develop solutions to real world science and engineering problems faced by NASA scientists, engineers and astronauts today


The collaboration will support an expansion of STEM opportunities for students across the country for up to 25 states


Fall 2020-Spring 2021.

NYS 21st CCLC programs participating in the US DE/NASA STEM Challenge Project for the 2020-21 School YearPDF Document

For School Year 2020-21, 21st CCLC sites will have the opportunity to participate in the following activities:

Engineering Design Challenges:

  • Spacecraft Safety: Help design NASA’s next-generation spacecraft! (Grades 6-8)
  • Packing Up for the Moon: Design a plant growth chamber that could be used by astronauts to grow vegetables on the moon. (Grades 6-8)
  • Parachuting onto Mars: Develop a drag device to slow the descent of a spacecraft or probe while protecting its cargo for successful landing. (Grades 6-8)
  • Why Pressure Suits? Design a pressure suit or spacesuit that will protect a high-altitude pilot or astronaut from the low-pressure, near vacuum environment that is experienced in space. (Grades 6-8)
  • Let it Glide: Build a shoebox glider to protect the greatest glide slope. (Grades 6-8)
  • Mission to Mars: Develop a device to slow down spacecraft landing on Mars (Grades 3-5)
  • Safe Travels: Develop devices for astronauts traveling to the Moon or Mars (Grades 3-5)
  • Astro Socks: Develop protective footwear for the ISS astronauts to wear as they live/work in microgravity (Grades 6-8)
  • Lunar Water: Develop a filter to purify water to be used in a future Lunar Habitat (Grades 6-8)

For more information, please visit: You for Youth, 2020-21 NASA STEM CHALLENGESexternal link

NYS 21st CCLC programs can email with additional inquiries or questions about this STEM initiative.

If you have a specific question, or comment, or concern, contact the Y4Y NASA Helpdesk

The New York State Education Department is looking forward to this adventure with our youth! 

Last Updated: July 7, 2022