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Opportunity for USA K-12 Students to
Participate in a Robot Design Contest

Lunabotics Junior Contest

Agency Type:

Foundation / Corporation

Funding Source:

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Challenge.Gov, Future Engineers, and NASA Human Exploration and Operations Mission Directorate and the Office of Stem Engagement

Deadline Date:

01/25/22 10:00 PM PT


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Opportunity for USA and territories K-12 students to participate in a robot design contest. Participants will submit at least one drawing as well as a written description of the envisioned robot, which must be able to dig and move lunar soil on the crater rim. Submitted designs will be judged according to creativity, potential for robot performance, consideration for the lunar environment, and communication of design.

 As NASA prepares to return to the Moon, lunar regolith will be needed for multiple purposes, like building a moon base using lunar concrete; harvesting water that can also be used for rocket fuel; and extracting possible metals or minerals. NASA will need robots that can help.

The Lunabotics Junior Contest invites K-12 students in the U.S to design a robot that can dig and move lunar soil (regolith) from one area of the Lunar south pole to a holding container near a future Artemis Moon base. Students are asked to create at least one drawing of their robot’s design (e.g., original work of art, 3D model, diagram, or photo of a prototype etc.) and a written summary that explains their robot’s design.

  • While students are not tasked to actually build a robot, they are asked to envision a robot design that is no larger than 3.5 feet x 2 feet x 2 feet.
  • The robot should be designed to operate on crater rim, in sunlight, and transport lunar soil approximately 100 meters (328 feet), which is about the length of a football field. 

Judging Criteria:

  • Likelihood of the robot’s design to successfully move lunar soil 
  • The design's consideration for the unique lunar environment
  • Creativity and originality of the design 
  • Communication of the robot’s design through images and text

Selected semifinalists will win a Lunabotics Junior prize pack; finalists will win a virtual session with a NASA subject matter expert; and one winner from each grade category will win a virtual chat with Kennedy Space Center Director, Janet Petro.

GrantWatch ID#:

GrantWatch ID#: 200335

Number of Grants:

Ten semifinalists, four finalists and one winner will be selected in each of the two grade categories.

Estimated Size of Grant:

From each category (Grades K-5 and Grades 6-12):
- Ten semifinalists will receive a Lunabotics Junior prize pack.
- Four national finalists will win a virtual session with a NASA subject matter expert.
- The national winner will be awarded a virtual chat for their class with Kennedy Space Center Director, Janet Petro.

Additional Eligibility Criteria:

Legal residents of the United States who are registered students in grades kindergarten through twelfth grade attending a public, private, or home school in the United States (including U.S. Territories or Possessions and schools operated by the U.S. for the children of American personnel overseas) are eligible to enter.

No team entries allowed.

Children of NASA employees are not eligible. However, children of NASA contractors are eligible to enter, and grandchildren of NASA employees are eligible.

For all eligibility details, please refer to the rules (see Contest Rules in Supporting Documents below).

Pre-Application Information:

Entries Due: January 25, 2022 10:00 PM PT

- Contest Launch: October 20, 2021
- Entries Due: January 25, 2022
- Semifinalists Announced: March 8, 2022
- Finalists Announced: March 22, 2022
- Winners Announced: March 29, 2022

Only entries submitted online are accepted.

Entries will be separated into two categories--grades K-5 and grades 6-12--to be judged.

Students may sign up on their own, or use a code to participate with their class. Entrants in class must be linked to their teacher's account to enter– either by entering a teacher’s class code during registration or by your teacher registering for you. If you are not participating with a teacher and are a minor you must get a parent's or legal guardian's permission to enter.

Teachers may sign up to register their class and manage entries.

Google Classroom is now supported for sign-up by both teachers and students.

You may only submit one entry for the Lunabotics Junior Contest; however, you are welcome to edit your entry until the contest deadline on January 25, 2022. Your last submitted entry is the one that will be considered the final entry.

Students - How to Submit Your Entry:

Contact Information:

Before starting your grant application, please review the funding source's website listed below for updates/changes/addendums/conferences/LOIs.

Student and teacher signup:

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