National STEM Day recognizes the ways science, technology, engineering, and math benefit humanity on Earth and in space. NASA’s greatest accomplishments and most ambitious plans are made possible by the explorers, engineers, scientists, and leaders who harness the STEM expertise of our top-notch workforce. In order to return humans to the Moon with the Artemis missions, venture to Mars and beyond, continue to improve our understanding of our changing planet, and more, it’s more important than ever to inspire and encourage today’s students – the Artemis generation – to join in the fun of STEM activities and begin to chart their own career journeys. Below, we’ve rounded up five ways students and educators can celebrate National STEM Day by getting involved with NASA.
1. Connect with NASA’s STEM Stars
Every Wednesday, NASA STEM Stars hosts a webchat connecting students with an agency employee who’s an expert in their field or in a particular aspect of NASA’s mission. STEM Stars episodes introduce viewers to a variety of STEM careers and explore the many unique paths that led NASA employees to their critical roles supporting space exploration. The series also includes STEM Stars en Español, a collection of episodes presented entirely in Spanish. Each chat also includes a suggested NASA STEM activity that builds on the topic featured during that episode.
2. Get Hands-On
Are you a fan of Ingenuity, NASA’s Mars helicopter, and the Perseverance rover currently exploring the Red Planet? Build your own Mars helicopter, learn how to draw the dynamic duo, or get up close with Perseverance in 3D. You can also get excited for NASA’s return to the Moon by building a model Space Launch System rocket; learning to draw each of the Artemis mission elements, such as the Orion capsule and Gateway; or by playing number and word puzzles with NASA’s Forward to the Moon Explorer Activities.
For more ideas, see what we recommend for grades K-4, 5-8, and 9-12 on our STEM Engagement website. We also offer educator guides for teachers, including two of our latest: Landing Humans on the Moon and Hazards to Deep Space Astronauts.
3. Challenge Yourself
Calling all U.S. K-12 students! Join the Lunabotics Junior challenge and design a robot that can dig and move lunar soil, called regolith, on the Moon. When NASA returns astronauts to the Moon with the Artemis missions, regolith will be an important resource for building, harvesting water, and mining for minerals. Be sure to check the Lunabotics Junior website for guidelines and deadlines – and then start designing and drawing your ideal Moon-digging robot!
Lunabotics Junior is a spinoff of the LUNABOTICS competition, one of eight Artemis Student Challenges hosted by NASA that allow students to work on research design activities that directly contribute to the Artemis mission.
4. Apply for a NASA Internship
NASA internships, the NASA International Internships Project, and the agency’s Pathways Program all allow students to roll up their sleeves and work alongside aerospace industry experts. NASA’s internship programs have varying requirements and opportunities, but all offer out-of-this-world work experience – and a chance to contribute to the future of space exploration. The application deadline for the 2022 spring term is Nov. 19, 2021 – click here to apply.
5. Get to Know NASA STEM!
Explore NASA STEM on the web and check back often for the latest projects, activities, news, stories, and more – there’s always something new to discover! Get social with us on Twitter, Facebook, and Pinterest, and check out our latest videos on our YouTube channel. You can even have the latest NASA STEM news, activities, and resources delivered straight to your inbox by subscribing to the NASA EXPRESS newsletter.