An independent judging panel will review submissions and recommend up to 10 winners. Depending on the volume of submissions received, a set of independent reviewers may conduct an initial review of eligible submissions. A subset of the highest-scoring submissions will then progress for review by the independent judging panel.

Selection criteria

Judges may assign up to 20 points for each selection criterion during the scoring of submissions (for a total of up to 100 points) based on five selection criteria.

Call to action. The extent to which the submission demonstrates a design for a product or service that will contribute to space missions and exploration.

CTE connection. The extent to which the submission demonstrates an ability and intention to incorporate available CTE programs and include CTE students at the school.

Learning outcomes. The extent to which the submission demonstrates an ability and intention to improve students’ knowledge and hands-on exposure to space skills and multidisciplinary content.

Student populations. The extent to which the submission focuses on students from special populations and underserved student populations (see definition in Federal Register).

Community engagement. The extent to which the submission describes how the entrant plans to engage the broader educational ecosystem that includes, but is not limited to students, parents, industry partners, local governments, and community organizations.

Additional characteristics

The Department of Education will review the recommendations of the judges. To ensure diverse distribution of awards, the Department may consider additional characteristics when selecting winners from the top-scoring submissions, including:

  • Geographic location and local population density.
  • Percentage of students enrolled in free and reduced price lunch programs under the Richard B. Russell National School Lunch Act (42 U.S.C. 1759), as amended through P.L. 116–6.
  • School size (number of students).