TSGC Challenge

Sponsored by NASA and administered by the Texas Space Grant Consortium, the TSGC Student Design CHALLENGE is a unique academic experience designed to provide undergraduate students with an opportunity to propose, design and fabricate a solution to a topic of importance to NASA and its mission.

CHALLENGE topics are submitted by researchers actually working on projects of interest to NASA or its contractor community. Student teams work on the topic of their choice over the course of one or two semesters. The overall experience pairs the student team and faculty advisor with an aerospace mentor; and provides student team members with opportunities in scientific research, hands-on design, NASA career opportunities, meeting presentation and educational outreach.

CHALLENGE Goals and Objectives

The TSGC Student Design CHALLENGE strives to encourage students to study and seek careers in space-related fields while, at the same time, enabling faculty to pursue further research and teaching opportunities.

CHALLENGE goals are multi-fold in order to:

  • provide students with an opportunity to solve real-world problems of interest to NASA or NASA-affiliated contractor communities.
  • encourage institutions of higher learning to implement, improve or expand the design curriculum.
  • develop opportunities for student research, training and design
  • engage students and faculty in the design process
  • retain student interest in academic pursuits that lead to aerospace careers
  • promote diversity via collaborations outside the immediate academic community
  • provide resources to motivate faculty leading student research teams
  • secure bonds between academia and industry via student/mentor relationships
  • foster higher-level teaming of faculty and mentors

CHALLENGE objectives seek to:

  • establish design teams among member institutions
  • implement, improve or expand the design curriculum in TSGC member institutions of higher learning
  • pair mentors from industry with student teams and faculty
  • create a link to K-12 learning
  • avail K-12 teachers with information geared toward science and math curricula
  • maintain interest in pursuing aerospace careers among student team members
  • provide information to students about NASA-related internships and programs
  • promote avenues for higher level teaming

CHALLENGE topics are submitted by NASA researchers, members of the NASA contractor community, and TSGC members involved in space-related research and design. All topics will relate to a relevant area of research within NASA Administrator Sean O'Keefe's vision for Pioneering the Future:

- to improve life here via better understanding and protection of planet Earth; - to extend life to there via innovation and technology; - to inspire the next generation of explorers via outreach; - to find life beyond via exploration

Research groups submitting CHALLENGE topics will provide a mentor to work with any team involved in a design submitted by the group. Announcement ofCHALLENGE topics and all program guidelines are available in this TSGC Student Design CHALLENGE website.

CHALLENGE Administration

The TSGC CHALLENGE is housed at the Texas Space Grant Consortium offices within the Center for Space Research in Austin, Texas. The program's administrator is Debbie Mullins.

Inquiries regarding the TSGC Student Design CHALLENGE should be directed to:

Debbie Mullins
Texas Space Grant Consortium [R1000]
3925 W. Braker Lane, Suite 200
Austin, Texas 78759-5321

email: dmullins@tsgc.utexas.edu
voice: 512-471-7390
fax: 512-471-3585
TSGC toll-free switchboard: 1-800-248-8752

What is the Texas Space Grant Consortium [TSGC]?

The Texas Space Grant Consortium (TSGC) is part of a National Space Grant network made up of 52 Space Grant consortia which includes over 350 colleges and universities. Texas Space Grant was formed in 1989, and is the largest among the 52 national consortia. Its membership currently includes 34 organizations (both academic and industry) which work together to develop a balanced program of higher education, research infrastructure and public service projects. Visit the TSGC website to learn more about TSGC educational intiatives.

NSG TSGC objectives remain to:
  • foster sharing of space related course materials among consortium academic institutions;
  • foster the development of multi-institutional space research efforts including industry/university teaming;
  • foster high quality graduate level space research at consortium academic institutions;
  • use interest in space to increase participation in science and mathematics in the public schools;
  • foster space-related programs and curricula for public schools and for the general public;
  • increase the pool of high school graduates who enter college (with an emphasis on under-represented minorities and women) to study science, mathematics, and engineering.
3925 West Braker Lane
Suite 200
Austin, Texas 78759
Switchboard phone: 1-800-248-8752
Mark Fischer, TSGC Program Mgr


© 2002 Texas Space Grant Consortium. All rights reserved.

Last Modified: Thu Jul 17, 2003