The following questions and answers are based on those submitted through the challenge inbox or during the virtual information session, held on May 10, 2023. The session recording and frequently asked questions are intended for informational purposes only, and all information presented here is superseded by the challenge’s Official Rules, Terms, and Conditions. For further questions, please contact the Your Place in Space Challenge team at


Do we need experience with space to participate?

Participants do not need to have experience or prior knowledge of space missions or exploration in order to participate.

Can we incorporate aspects of other fields into the submission?

Teams from across all disciplines and subject areas can participate in the challenge. From health sciences to textile design, all fields have a place in space.

Does the U.S. Department of Education plan to sponsor additional STEM-based student competitions related to space exploration?

The Your Place in Space Challenge is the only current U.S. Department of Education challenge focused on this topic. The topic for the next challenge in the CTE Momentum series will be announced in early 2024.


What is the role of the team lead and who qualifies for that role?

The team lead serves as the primary point of contact for the challenge, and will be responsible for submitting the team’s design via Luminary Lightbox. They will also determine the distribution of prizes, if their team is selected as a winner. The team lead must be a CTE teacher or CTE coordinator employed by the submitting team’s school and over 18 years of age. You can find further details in the Official Rules, Terms, and Conditions published on the challenge website.

Can more than one team per school submit?

Yes, more than one team from each school can submit a product or service. Each team must have a CTE teacher or CTE coordinator listed as the team lead. Please note that each entry requires a statement from the entrant’s principal or school district-level administrator approving the entrant’s permission to enter the challenge.

Can one team lead (CTE teacher or CTE coordinator) submit entries on behalf of multiple teams, or does it have to be a different team lead per team?

The Official Rules, Terms and Conditions do not limit the number of unique submissions an eligible entity may submit.

Are students submitting ideas for the challenge individually or as a team?

Entrants must designate a primary contact to serve as the team lead. Each team lead must be employed as a CTE teacher or CTE coordinator by the submitting school and must be at least 18 years of age.

What should a team look like? For example, how many students should be on a team, and what class subjects should be participating?

Teams may consist of any number of teachers and students and may include a mix of grade levels and subjects — from engineering and computer science to business and art. Teams are required to identify a team lead who is a CTE teacher or CTE coordinator.


Who is eligible to participate in the challenge?

The challenge is open to high schools eligible to receive funding under the Carl D. Perkins Career and Technical Education Act of 2006 as amended by the Strengthening Career and Technical Education for the 21st Century Act (Perkins V). A school does not need to be receiving funding currently, but it must be eligible to receive Perkins V funding to participate in this challenge. The challenge is only open to high schools in the United States, though any interested school may view and access the open resources available on the resource hub or join an eligible school’s team. For information on eligibility, please refer to the Official Rules, Terms, and Conditions published on the challenge website.

Submission overview

When is the submission deadline?

The submission deadline is Monday, October 30, 2023, at 6:00 p.m. ET. We strongly encourage all teams to register on Luminary Lightbox well in advance of this deadline and submit at least one hour before the deadline to ensure the submission is received.

Can you give some examples of products or services that contribute to space missions and exploration?

After determining a space-related topic or issue, students and teachers can get creative with their product or service. On the About the Challenge section of the Your Place in Space Challenge website, you can find several thought starters.

How should products or services be submitted? Does there need to be a physical model or prototype?

Teams can review the submission form on the challenge website by clicking on “submit.” There does not need to be a physical model or prototype; the submission form includes short-form written responses and a video component.

How will submissions be evaluated?

Submissions will be evaluated against a set of five selection criteria. Teams can see this set of criteria in more detail on the challenge website. Each selection criterion has equal weight; we encourage teams to read them carefully.


What are the costs associated with this challenge?

There are no costs required to enter the challenge.

Are there any additional funds teams can use in developing their product or service?

The challenge was designed so that schools would not need to acquire additional funding in order to participate. However, there are no limitations as to funds that can be used to prepare a submission. Winners will each receive at least $5,000 in cash; additional in-kind prizes may be added during the open submissions period.

Getting involved

How can I share this information with my students?

Students are invited to review the information on the challenge website or to watch the virtual information session recording after it is posted online. Teachers can begin preparing now to bring this project to their students. We expect many teams will start to work on their submissions once school returns in the fall.

I am not a CTE educator, but I want to support the challenge! How can I get involved?

Although teams must be led by CTE teachers or coordinators at the school, anyone in the broader school community can get involved. Those who are not working directly on teams as a teacher or student can support by providing expertise, donating resources, and spreading the word with their networks.

Is this program intended to be co-curricular or extra-curricular (in school or as a club)?

Students and teachers can develop their submissions during their classes or in after-school programs.

Is there some special qualification I need to be defined as a CTE teacher?

The Official Rules, Terms and Conditions of the Your Place in Space Challenge include a VII. Submission information section which explains the following: “Entrants must designate a primary contact to serve as the team lead. Each team lead must be employed as a CTE teacher or CTE coordinator by the submitting school and must be at least 18 years of age. A school may collaborate with another school or schools. However, one team lead and lead school must be identified. In the event that a dispute regarding the identity of the entrant who actually submitted the submission cannot be resolved by the Department, the affected entry will be deemed ineligible.” Please refer to the Official Rules, Terms and Conditions for complete details.