New Worlds Await You (NWAY) program hosts an annual design competition for middle school-aged students to work in teams on a semester-long project-based learning activity. Student teams will research and imagine a lunar habitat that will meet the design constraints and requirements for the competition.
Over the course of 4 months, teams will brainstorm creative solutions and implement the engineering design process to build a 3D physical model of their habitat and supporting technology. They will present their research and 3D model to STEM professionals in a national competition held virtually (on-line).
Are you ready to join the fun?
The design competition can only happen with the support of the entire STEM education eco-system: students, educators, parents, industry and community! Join the fun now!
Get a PDF of the NWAY Habitat Design and Technology Competition 2022 Overview Flyer for further detail.
Students will be challenged to design a 3D model of a habitat in a Lunar Lava Tube to allow a crew of astronauts to explore the Moon and conduct science while keeping them alive and happy on a long-term stay on the Moon. This is also a current focus for the NASA Artemis program!
A technology-focused project is also available for teams who want to create new technologies to further lunar exploration.
Team leaders/teachers/sponsors attend an online informational session (1.5 hours) in Mid-December. Teams prepare for the competition January through April.
Preliminary competition round will be held at the end of April. The top 10% of teams advance to the Finals to be held online in early May. All judging will be conducted virtually.
Teams work independently at their own educational institution with guidance by their leader/sponsor. All team deliverables are submitted and judged online with the final competition held in an online conference setting.
Teams have access to mentors and guest speakers who are STEM professionals. Past participation from NASA, Southwest Research Institute, University of Texas San Antonio, Texas A&M, Boeing, Blue Origin, and others.
Why Should My Students Compete?
Dive into a space exploration project-based activity centered on real science, engineering and technology!
Implement 21st century skills such as teamwork, communication, creativity and problem solving!
Interact with STEM professionals from across the nation!
NWAY Design Competition Supports Teachers with:
Free curriculum to support the design competition.
Free resources including multi-media to keep students and families engaged.
Are you Ready to Compete?
Get the Competition Handbook
Interested but not sure if you or your students are? NWAY has a ton of resources including a 10-session curriculum that will build foundational STEM skills and Moon content knowledge — FREE!!! Find the Mission to the Moon curriculum and other NWAY resources here.
Whether you are ready to organize a team now, or need a little more support, NWAY can help! The NWAY program will provide you with a Competition Handbook which will guide you and your students through a framework that includes the team project management skills, brainstorming techniques, engineering design process, technology support, and guidance in building their model.
Mentors, Judges, and Volunteers
STEM professionals provide real-world expertise, passion and guidance to student teams.
As a mentor and/or judge, you volunteer to work directly with student teams and their educator. Sharing your passion and real STEM experiences are critical to your role. You will offer guidance through the application of STEM content and the engineering design process, as well as project management duties.
You are the foundation! Support your children as they learn to work as a team, build on creative ideas and apply knowledge in this exciting project.
The New Worlds Await You program builds upon partnerships from NASA, Communities in Schools – San Antonio, Vivify, Future Cities and DiscoverE to present Space-based Design Challenges! See the fun and learning from last years Lunar City design Challenge here!
By helping to fund our programs for motivated Middle and High School students with an interest in exploring space, you advance 21st century careers for underrepresented minorities, female, and economically disadvantaged students.