Education Technology

Coding contest from NASA and Texas Instruments allows students to compete virtually to win out-of-this-world prizes

New, space-themed contest challenges students to use STEM skills to improve life on the International Space Station

DALLAS – (April 23, 2020) Texas Instruments (TI) and NASA have teamed up to give students who are learning remotely the opportunity to connect, collaborate and win out-of-this-world prizes in a new, space-themed coding contest. The NASA & TI Codes Contest challenges middle and high school students to improve a process or product on the International Space Station – whether it’s a better way to help astronauts stay in shape or a more efficient process to communicate with Mission Control. If it’s related to the space station, it’s eligible to win.

For nearly 20 years, astronauts have continuously lived and worked on the International Space Station, testing technologies, performing science experiments and developing the skills needed to explore space. And starting today, TI and NASA are challenging students stuck at home to connect virtually to design a solution that makes living and working on the space station even better.

The NASA & TI Codes Contest challenges middle and high school students to improve a process or product on the International Space Station. Pictured are Expedition 62 Flight Engineers Andrew Morgan and Jessica Meir inside the International Space Station's Zvezda service module. Photo Credit: NASA

“As NASA celebrates the 20th anniversary of continuous human presence aboard the International Space Station and prepares to send astronauts to the Moon and on to Mars, we remain focused on the future,” said Mike Kincaid, Associate Administrator for NASA’s Office of STEM Engagement. “The Artemis Generation is that future and creating opportunities that encourage teamwork, collaboration and problem solving will put them on the course to become the next generation of explorers.”

The NASA & TI Codes Contest is simple to enter and encourages teams of up to five students to work together virtually to submit a written proposal outlining the process or existing product they want to improve aboard the orbiting laboratory. A panel of judges from TI and NASA will determine which teams move on. As teams advance, they must start coding and building their proposed design and showcase it in a video. The public will vote on their favorite video and up to five teams will have the opportunity to visit NASA’s Johnson Space Center in Houston this fall, if travel conditions improve, for a behind-the-scenes tour and to present their designs in person.

"This coding challenge gives students a break from learning on their screens and encourages some much needed social interaction as teams work together toward a common goal,” said Peter Balyta, president of TI Education Technology. "Now, more than ever, we’re seeing the need to develop future problem solvers and creative thinkers with the STEM skills needed to make our world a safer, healthier and better place.”

Each member of the winning team will receive a TI graphing calculator and TI's calculator-controlled robotic vehicle, the TI-Innovator™ Rover. The teacher or adult that sponsors the winning team also wins a $250 gift card to help cover the cost of future class activities. All students who accept the mission will automatically be entered to win TI technology and NASA-themed items at the end of the contest.

Review the rules, form a team and enter the NASA & TI Codes Contest today at: NASATICodesContest.com.

TI Education Technology Media Relations:

Contact us at edtechnews@ti.com or visit our news center.

About Texas Instruments:

Education Technology, a business of Texas Instruments, provides a wide range of tools connecting the classroom experience with real-world applications, helping students and teachers to explore mathematics and science interactively. TI’s products and services are tested vigorously against recognized third-party research, which shows that the effective use of graphing calculators improves the mathematical skills of students and their attitudes toward mathematics. For more information, visit www.education.ti.com.

Texas Instruments Incorporated (TI) is a global semiconductor design and manufacturing company that develops analog ICs and embedded processors. By employing the world's brightest minds, TI creates innovations that shape the future of technology. TI is helping more than 100,000 customers transform the future, today. Learn more at www.ti.com.

About NASA STEM Engagement:

NASA’s Office of STEM Engagement’s main focus is creating unique opportunities for students to contribute to NASA’s work in exploration and discovery; building a diverse future STEM workforce by engaging students in authentic learning experiences with NASA’s people, content and facilities; and strengthening understanding by enabling powerful connections to NASA’s mission and work.