Spring 2018 SCaN Innovation Challenge - ARISS Contact

In May 2018, a group of students completed the first-ever Space Communications and Navigation (SCaN) Innovation Challenge. The participants worked on cross-functional teams to create an outreach activity using innovative technologies to engage middle school students in learning about optical communications. Optical communications is a new method of communicating with spacecraft that allows better data transmission rates and takes up less size, weight and power on a spacecraft.

The students produced comprehensive presentations that demonstrated their ideas; the cost, schedule and materials; and the impact it would have on middle school education.

As a prize, photos of all of the participants will be transmitted to and from the International Space Station through the Amateur Radio on the International Space Station (ARISS) program. You can view these photos below.

To participate in this year's SCaN Innovation Challenge, keep an eye out for an announcement on the Student STEM Challenges page. For more space communications STEM engagement activities, visit the ESC Activities page.

ARISS Photos Transmitted to Space Station:

Student STEM Challenge 2018 Group Photo
A group photo of the participants in the 2018 SCaN Student STEM Challenge. From left to right: Sage Hengen, Evan Hartnett, Joseph Seils, and Reese Patillo (top row); Mary Jimenez, Elizabeth Vicarte, Stephanie Vicarte, Monica Saraf, Isabella Potenziani, Holly Rainville, Daedriana Harvey (middle row); Sandra Vilevac (bottom row).
Photo of students participating in SCaN STEM Challenge
SCaN instructional designer Sandra Vilevac presents the challenge to the students.
Photo of students participating in SCaN STEM Challenge
Vilevac interacts with the students during brainstorming.
Photo of students participating in SCaN STEM Challenge
Students participate in teams for the challenge.
NASA engineer Frank Bauer demonstrates ARISS
NASA engineer Frank Bauer demonstrates the ARISS downlink process and radio technology to the SCaN challenge attendees.
Photo of students participating in SCaN STEM Challenge
One group of the challenge participants presents the outreach activity they developed.