by Stephanie Vierow-Fields

STAR Net’s Summer of Space in partnership with the Collaborative Summer Learning Program’s A Universe of Stories, invites libraries to participate in a national STEM challenge designed for the hard to reach tween/teen age group. The Northwest Earth and Space Science Pipeline (at the Univ. of Washington, in Seattle) is the lead organization 

seattle-meeting-drone-picAs part of the 50th anniversary of the Apollo 11 Moon landing, the ANGLeS (Apollo Next Giant Leap Student) Challenge invites teams from fifth grade to high school seniors to build a replica of the lunar lander and use a remote-controlled Blue Heron drone to land it on an 8-by-12-foot map of the Moon’s surface. Student teams will modify and program a Lego Mindstorms EV3 robot to then explore the lunar surface and bring back a rock sample within a specified length of time. This national challenge takes place in July 2019 and is partially funded by NASA. 

“This is a truly interdisciplinary challenge, involving computer programming, robotics, remote sensing and design,” said Robert Winglee, director of the Northwest Earth and Space Sciences Pipeline and a UW professor of Earth and space sciences.  

Libraries do not have to participate in every aspect of the contest but can customize their own unique challenge to fit their community, developing one or more teams in the processLibraries can work with their local school district, robotics clubs, or even their own afterschool groups to develop their teams and compete against each other. From the simplest activity of designing a team mission patch to flying a drone and docking a model of the lunar lander, ANGLeS provides a great opportunity for libraries and schools to work together!   

While the libraries in the 15 “hub” states have the opportunity to win the grand prize, every library in every state within the U.S. is eligible to participate, and potentially be recognized.  Registration is free, and there are opportunities for crowd funding to provide the programming supplies.  

The Northwest challenge will be held in July in Seattle and is open to teams from schools or recognized informal education programs (including ones based at public libraries). Twelve other NASA regional hubs will also host events the week of July 15-20. The winning team from each location will win a trip in early August to visit NASA’s Johnson Space Center in Houston.

More information can be found at 

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Drone and rover footage taken at the Universe of Stories Planning workshop at the Seattle Public Library.  Drone operated by Deana Brown from the Idaho State Library.

We will be promoting this and other events and activities on our Summer of Space web page.  Check it out and register so you stay uptodate on all the exciting opportunities the 2019 summer of space will bring.