On October 30, challenge submissions closed and the judging process began. Teams across 12 states entered the challenge with an array of solutions that contribute to space missions or exploration. From engineering and nutrition to education and tourism, teams submitted product or service ideas that represent a diverse range of CTE programs and career pathways into the space industry. A panel of expert reviewers has finished evaluating all eligible submissions and the highest-scoring solutions are advancing to the five judges.

Meet the reviewers

The review panel includes experts in CTE education, space education, and the space industry. The Your Place in Space Challenge thanks the review panelists for giving their time and expertise to help develop new solutions for space:

Sara Alvarado, Students for the Exploration and Development of Space
Robert Atkins, Moog Inc
Courtney Black, International Space Station National Laboratory
Avery Brock, NASA Ames Research Center – KBR
Steven Chance, NASA
Nicholas Florio, Blue Origin
Daniel Gillies, NOAA
Alex Grab, Space Foundation
Lauren Harter, VEX Robotics
Ann Kapusta, Mission Operations
Robert LaSalvia, NASA Office of STEM Engagement
Katherine McConachie, Arizona State University
Jennifer Munoz, STEM4Real
Shadi Naderi, Air Force Research Laboratory
Sunny Narayanan, Florida State University
Stuart Pettis, Air & Space Forces Association
Lindsay Sampson, Montgomery Public Schools
Justine Schaen, NSF NOIRLab
Diallo Shabazz, Braven Solutions
Rhina Sterling, United States Space Force
Sabrina Thompson, NASA
Samantha Thorstensen, International Space Station National Laboratory
Jacob Torres, Kennedy Space Center (Former)
Stephen White, COSI – Center of Science and Industry
Susan White, North Carolina Space Grant Consortium

Final judging begins

The highest-scoring submissions are now advancing to the five-member judging panel, which includes experts in fields such as CTE education, space education, product design, and the space industry. The challenge team is grateful to the judges for their work in support of the challenge:

Niteesh Elias, Director of Product Design, Honeywell Aerospace
Nithya Govindasamy, Senior Director of Policy, Advance CTE
Ali Guarneros Luna, Senior System Architect, Lockheed Martin
Megan McArthur, Astronaut, NASA
Ted Tagami, CEO and co-founder, Magnitude.io

Learn more about the judges as they score submissions against the selection criteria. The panel will recommend up to 10 winners to receive $5,000 each and additional in-kind prizes for their schools. The U.S. Department of Education anticipates announcing the winners along with the topic of next year’s challenge in early 2024.

For updates on the winning teams and next year’s challenge, sign up for the CTE Momentum newsletter.

Meet the winners of the Your Place in Space Challenge!