News for Crews — Mission Advisor workshop

Our Mission Advisor workshop is confirmed for this Friday, January 7. We’ll go over critical aspects of many of the challenge’s Mission Objectives, with lots of time for Q&A. The session will be recorded and available on our website, YouTube channel, and Facebook page.


Can’t make the workshop but have questions? Email us in advance and we’ll make sure to cover them on Friday!

News for Crews — Welcome to ROADS on Icy Worlds!

G’day, ROADS on Icy Worlds crews!

Welcome to NESSP’s 2021-2022 NASA student challenge. Events and deadlines will start happening in January 2022, but please feel free to email us questions at any time.

NESSP office closure

Our offices will be closed December 23-28, with limited staffing December 29 and 30. We’ll resume regular office operations on January 3, 2022.

Supply shipping

If you requested supplies for your team, we’ve been doing our best to have shipments into the mail before the end of the year. If you have questions about your supply order, please drop us an email and we’ll get back to you in January when we’ll have a clear picture of what’s been shipped and what our stock levels are.

Mission Advisor training

We have tentatively scheduled a short training session for Mission Advisors for Friday, January 7. We’re working on finalizing all the details and will have information out to you when our office reopens on January 3.

Icy links

We’ll have even more information on our challenge website in January, but if you’d like some light reading for the end of the year here are some good links to peruse about the ROADS on Icy Worlds Challenge (affectionally abbreviated in our office as RoIW).

Our email

Please send us your questions as you have them! Our email address is: As noted above, we will have limited-to-no staffing this last week of the year, but we’ll get to questions as promptly as we can when we’re back in the office on January 3.

End of year news — ROADS registration deadline and NESSP office closure

ROADS on Icy Worlds registration will close on the night of Tuesday, December 21, 2021. We will then focus our energies on getting requested supplies into the mail as quickly as we can.

Please also note that the NESSP office will be closed Thursday, December 23, into the new year. Phone calls and emails will be addressed as promptly as we can when we re-open on Monday, January 3, 2022.

We hope you all have a safe and relaxing New Year, with plenty of time to rest up for the ROADS challenge ahead!

Got questions about the Icy Worlds challenge? Q&A on Monday!

So the new ROADS challenge is open for registration, and this year we’re going to some of the icy worlds of the solar system. But what does it all mean? How are we “going,” and what are we doing when we get there? What supplies do we need and how do we get them? When are things due?

Join us Monday, December 13, at 1:30 p.m. (Pacific Time) to ask us all your questions and get as many answers as we have! The Q&A will be on Zoom and, yes, we will record it and post it to our YouTube page.

See you there!


News for Crews — Mark your calendar for ROADS on Asteroids results!! 🗓

G’day, ROADS crews!

IT’S FINALLY TIME.  Mark your calendars for the ROADS on Asteroids Top Teams announcement.  Results will be posted to the NESSP website on Wednesday, September 8, 2021, when it strikes 12 o’clock noon in Seattle.

We know, it’s been ages since you’ve heard from us.  Dr. Winglee’s death left us very short-handed — a problem that snowballed as the year went by and tasks accreted like cosmic dust in the corners.  We are so sorry to leave you hanging for so long.  And we’re very excited to be able to bring ROADS on Asteroids, Dr. Winglee’s final NESSP challenge, to a close.

So, once again, keep your browsers at the ready for the announcement!

When:  Wednesday, September 8, 2021, 12 p.m. (Pacific Daylight Time)

See you then!

A Bitmoji shows NESSP founding director, Dr. Robert Winglee, in rocketship.

Summer science is here!

For summer 2021, NESSP is pleased to offer several mini-missions for use in your summer camp activities in July and August.

This year we’re offering two formats to support your summer activities. We are continuing to loan supplies if you will be using NESSP activities in your camp (what we’re calling Self-Directed Mini-Missions). New for 2021 — we are offering NESSP Guided Mini-Missions, where your students log onto Zoom for a half-day virtual session with a NESSP facilitator. Supplies will still be provided if you need them for your NESSP Guided session!

Details and the registration form are available now. If you would like to run multiple mini-missions for your students, please DO NOT complete the registration form and email us directly instead.

It takes about two weeks to process and ship your supplies, so register (or email us) ASAP!

Announcing summer professional development for teachers

For summer 2021, NESSP is pleased to offer several professional development sessions for teachers — including a long-awaited return to an in-person workshop format for one of the sessions! As with our PD sessions last year, our summer 2021 sessions will take place over two days.

All sessions are free and supplies will be provided, although participants will need to provide their own computer (and internet connection, in the case of virtual workshops).

Learn hands-on STEM activities to engage middle and high school -aged students! Topics to be covered support NGSS and are aligned with NASA missions. Projects are relevant to our new ROADS challenge for the upcoming 2021–2022 school year — or can supplement your existing course.

These workshops will cover the curriculum for the companion course to our next ROADS student challenge, and as such the sessions are intended for educators currently teaching in classrooms. We will hold a workshop intended specifically for coaches/mentors of ROADS challenge teams at a later date.

Details and registration are on our website. The registration form gives you the chance to rank your preferences for choice of workshop date. We will try to put everyone into their first preference! But we do expect that the in-person workshop will be quite popular (while also having the most limited capacity), so some registrants will be placed into their second choice.


  • August 6–7, 2021 — Virtual workshop
  • August 12–13, 2021 — In-person workshop in Adrian, OR
  • August 16–17, 2021 — Virtual workshop

ROADS News for Crews, April 28 — Submissions DUE!

G’day, ROADS crews!

We’re approaching the end of our mission — your final submissions are DUE APRIL 30.  That’s this Friday!

Remember that your submission will include the following materials (please read the complete instructions on the final submissions web page):

  1. Mission Development Log (MDL)
  2. Mission video
  3. Scoresheet

We’ve had a few questions about the scoresheet, so here are some tips:

  • Use the tab called “Challenge Scoresheet” (ignore all other tabs).
  • Add your team’s number and name in the cells at the top.
  • Each score-able item has a drop-down list.  Select one of the items on the drop-down to enter the score.

(More instructions and tips can be found on the following webpage: How to complete the ROADS on Asteroids scoresheet for challenge submissions)

But don’t stress too much about the scoresheet!  Our judges use it as a double-check when scoring your MDL and video, so we do need to have it and it truly is helpful, but it is definitely not the final say on your team’s score.

If you have questions, please drop us an email.  We’ll be available to provide answers on final submissions up until 5 p.m. in Seattle, WA, (Pacific Daylight Time) on Friday, April 30.

Do your best and good luck!  And remember, if all else fails — wing it like Winglee.

ROADS News for Crews, March 30 — Final deadline adjusted

G’day, ROADS crews!

We have good news for you!

Final submissions — NOW DUE April 30, 2021
We weren’t giving you enough time to finalize your submissions, and so we’ve pushed out the deadline to Friday, April 30, 2021.  Thank you to everyone who wrote in about it!

The submissions portal will be open later this week.

Reminder: Chat with an expert — Thursday, April 1, 2021
How do scientists study asteroids? Join us to chat with NASA scientist Nicole Lunning to learn about exciting missions to asteroids (OSIRIS-REx, Dawn & more!) and how scientists investigate samples returned by spacecraft as well as meteorites in laboratories at the NASA Johnson Space Center.

This chat will be a Zoom webinar. You do not need to be registered with Zoom to join us — you can select “Join from browser” from the loading screen.

ROADS News for Crews, March 28 — Chat with an Expert “Investigating Asteroids”

G’day, ROADS crews!

We have an expert chat coming up that you will not want to miss — it’s all about how scientists study asteroids!  Hope to see you on Thursday, April 1.

Chat with an expert — Thursday, April 1, 2021
How do scientists study asteroids? Join us to chat with NASA scientist Nicole Lunning to learn about exciting missions to asteroids (OSIRIS-REx, Dawn & more!) and how scientists investigate samples returned by spacecraft as well as meteorites in laboratories at the NASA Johnson Space Center.

This chat will be a Zoom webinar. You do not need to be registered with Zoom to join us — you can select “Join from browser” from the loading screen.

Checkpoint challenges — Scoring will wrap up soon!
Thank you for all of your amazing submissions for the checkpoint challenges!  We will wrap up scoring soon.  Keep an eye out for prize announcements.

Final submissions — Submissions portal opening this week
Materials for your final submissions for ROADS on Asteroids will be due on Saturday, April 10, 2021.  The submission portal will open this week — when it’s ready, we’ll email you with details.