Status Report

NASA National Spaced Out Sports Design Challenge

By SpaceRef Editor
November 7, 2010
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NASA National Spaced Out Sports Design Challenge

Students in grades 5-8 throughout the United States are invited to participate in Spaced Out Sports, a national design challenge that applies Newton’s Laws of Motion by designing a game for the International Space Station astronauts to play in space. The goal is for students to learn the “science behind the game” on Earth and in microgravity.

Students will submit game demonstrations via a playbook and video. Awards include: 1st Place — NASA schoolwide celebration; Top 3 Teams — games played and broadcast on the space station; All Contributing Schools — opportunity to participate in a Digital Learning Network webcast with astronauts on the space station.

Spaced Out Sports student and educator resources include posters, bookmarks, curriculum guides, a career video and Digital Learning Network Modules. All include NASA astronauts, engineers and celebrity sports figures engaging students in relevant space-sports connections by explaining and demonstrating the “science behind their work and/or game.” Featured are: NASA astronauts Leland Melvin and Nicole Stott; Olympic gymnast Nastia Liukin; NASCAR’s Juan Pablo Montoya; basketball’s Temeka Johnson; football/Super Bowl champions New Orleans Saints; and hockey’s Ryan O’Reilly and the Colorado Avalanche.

Guide activities and DLN modules include talk shows that explain application of Newton’s Laws in sports and space, followed by Science and Sports Challenges, where students design/construct sporting equipment and games and predict the difference between a game played on Earth and in microgravity.

Spaced Out Sports is managed by NASA’s Stennis Space Center Education through the Teaching From Space Office at NASA’s Johnson Space Flight Center in Houston.

For more information and to register for the challenge, visit:

If you have questions about Spaced Out Sports, please e-mail inquiries to

SpaceRef staff editor.