The New Worlds Await You Next Generation (NWAY-II) program has created an expanded network of informal educational institutions and teacher training institutions. These institutions will bring NASA, space, and STEM topics to Out-of-School Time (OST) programs across the nation.

NWAY-II deploys its Space-STEM training module to pre-service teachers, equipping them to teach Space-STEM subjects, who then implement the NWAY-II curriculum in afterschool and OST programs. The goal is to recruit new organizations to employ the NWAY-II program model developed and tested throughout the project. The new recruits will utilize the free NWAY curriculum and collaborate with their area teacher training institutions to implement the low-cost NWAY curriculum.

Are you ready to join the fun?

Access a PDF of the Teacher’s Guide here for the NWAY II Challenge: Designing a Lunar Lava Tube Habitat

The project targets underserved populations at the 6th, 7th, and 8th-grade levels. Students are challenged to design and construct a 3D model of a habitat in a Lunar Lava Tube to allow an astronaut crew 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!

The habitat model is created using recyclable materials and simple supplies (tape, glue, paper, etc.). Activities follow the engineering design process (EDP). Multimedia resources accompany the curriculum and feature “Career Chats” with STEM professionals who work in space exploration.

NWAY-II’s teacher-education partners include the University of Texas at San Antonio (UTSA), the University of Texas at Permian Basin (UTPB), and Eastern New Mexico University (ENMU).

Curriculum implementation partners include the YMCA of Greater San Antonio, Boys and Girls Clubs of Midland-Odessa, the Young Women’s Leadership Academy of Midland, and UTeach programs at UTSA and UTPB.

Master teachers from select universities will also be trained to oversee and support pre-service teachers during program hours.

With a Summer 2024 Kickoff, the program will run each Fall and Spring semester (10-15 weeks), with 1 session per week. The program’s final week at the end of each semester will conclude with a regional design competition between teams, judged by a panel of volunteer STEM Professionals from local organizations.

Student teams work at the afterschool/OST institution under the leadership of their pre-service teacher.

Teams will have access to virtual mentors and guest speakers who are STEM professionals. Past participation includes NASA, Southwest Research Institute, University of Texas San Antonio, Texas A&M, Boeing, Blue Origin, and others.


Goals of the nway-II program

Provide underserved student populations with Space-STEM education through project-based learning centered on real science, engineering, and technology!

Leverage NASA missions, content, people, and facilities to provide experiential authentic STEM opportunities that encourage innovation, critical thinking, and problem-solving skills.

Connect student populations with STEM professionals, both in their local communities and from across the nation.

Organize both in-person and virtual student design competitions within local and regional networks to help students develop 21st-century STEM skills.

Provide authentic STEM engagement activities and curriculum aligned with NASA mission-driven needs and priorities.

Offer free resources including multi-media to keep students and families engaged.

Past designs and competitions

NWAY II Next Generation Partners

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.

Support a space
exploration pioneer