National Aeronautics and Space Administration
Engineering Design Challenge: Spacecraft Structures

During this web seminar participants learned how to incorporate the excitement of rocketry into the classroom. They received an overview of the student engineering design challenge Spacecraft Structures. This engaging lesson is an opportunity for students to design and construct a strong but lightweight structure that can withstand the launch of a water bottle “rocket.” During the course of this seminar participants saw how scientific principles and the engineering design process used by NASA can be applied in this activity. Participants viewed videos of students engaged in the lesson and collaborated with other participants about possible modifications to the activity for various grade levels.


This web seminar is part of a series of electronic professional development experiences sponsored by the NASA Explorer Schools (NES) project. NASA Explorer Schools invests in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics educators to inspire and engage a whole generation of future scientists, engineers and technicians that NASA needs to continue our journey. NES gives educators of grades 4-12 free access to NASA’s people, missions, research, and facilities. We take the work out of searching through thousands of materials on the NASA website and provide a comprehensive set of teaching materials for dozens of STEM concepts. For additional information about the NASA Explorer Schools project, visit

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