Washington NASA Space Grant Consortium

Our Reservation, Our Eclipse: Launch Competition

Image of a solar eclipse Students launching balloon experiment

Imagine your project HERE

On August 21, 2017, a total solar eclipse will occur over the United States. The path of this historic event will pass directly over the lands of the Confederated Tribes of the Warm Springs Reservation.

To celebrate this momentous event, Native American teams are invited to develop a high altitude balloon payload that will fly to the edge of space during the eclipse and gain an unprecedented view of the shadow of the moon on our Earth.


Competition Rules

To enter, each team must submit a one-page essay discussing the significance of solar eclipses in their culture and proposing a project to be launched by high altitude balloon on August 21, 2017. This project may be either a small science payload (i.e. a temperature or pressure measurement tool) or a student-built artifact (i.e. a bracelet or mascot) to be photographed against the background of the eclipse.

Essays should be clearly printed on a single piece of paper. The team name should appear on the top of the page. Entries are due October 15, 2016.

The selected teams will receive instructions and basic materials (including a camera) for the development of their project. We anticipate providing kits for 20 student payloads. Payload kits will be sent to the mentors for the selected teams by January 5, 2017.

Finalists will be chosen, based on their progress reports, which are due May 5, 2017.

Finalists will receive up to $1,000 in travel support to attend the launch and community-led eclipse celebration on the Warm Springs Reservation. Travel funding is based on distance traveled.

We will fly as many payloads as possible. All teams are encouraged to attend but travel support will be limited to the most promising payloads.

All selected teams will receive an eclipse photo along with a photo of the launch. Every effort will be made to recover the student payloads and attached cameras but recovery is not guaranteed.

Entry and Mailing Instructions

Proposals must be submitted in PDF format to the Northwest Earth and Space Sciences Pipeline by October 15, 2016.

Each proposal entry should contain the team's one-page essay; a list of team members and their grade levels; the team mentor's name, mailing address, email address, and the name of the school endorsing the mentor; and written permission from each team member's parent or guardian to participate. Mentors are responsible for making sure the proposal package is complete.

Questions and entries should be sent to nwessp@uw.edu

Balloon and launch facilities for the 2017 Eclipse Launch Competition are provided by the Northwest Earth & Space Sciences Pipeline, which is funded by the NASA Science Mission Directorate.