Grades 9-12

Registration coming soon.
Get ready to start your engines!
Glogster will open the NASA Challenge in November.
In the meantime, sign-up if you haven't already to get your Design Packet and start to search for NASA Spinoffs.
  • Take the challenge!

    The 9 – 12 grade OPSPARC Challenge focuses on the technology and Spinoffs related to the James Webb Space Telescope (JWST). Just like NASA engineers, you will use an Engineering Design Process to design your own Spinoff innovation from JWST technology.

  • * Signed up last year? If yes, skip sign up and get started with Glogster.


    * To get started with Glogster, you first have to sign up!

  • Let’s Get Started!
    Steps to Complete Grades 9-12 OPSPARC Glog

    You will create areas on your Glogster Multimedia Poster, a “Glog” that match each of the four steps below.

    After you have read through the following steps and feel OPSPARC is for you, sign-up for an account, which will require your parent’s permission. You will be provided with the Design Packet, as mentioned in Step 2. Once you have done the necessary research and feel ready to start your Glog, then click on the “Get Started with Glogster” button.
    If you signed up last year, then you can skip the sign-up process and go to “Get Started with Glogster” to sign-in. By signing in, you will have access to this year’s Design Packet. 


  • 1 Be a JWST Researcher

    • Explore and research JWST Spinoff technologies by using the Resources page on this website.
    • Then demonstrate in one section of your Glog what you have learned by responding to the following:
      • In your own words, what is Spinoff technology?
      • Identify a JWST Spinoff technology that you will modify to create your own Spinoff technology. Tell us about the Spinoff and how it works.
    • Post photographs or drawings of the original JWST Spinoff technology in your Glog.

  • Image that says

    Ignite Your Creative Thinking

    Click here for judging criteria:

    Grades 9-12 Rubrics

  • 2 Be a JWST Engineer and Create your Own Spinoff

    • Use the Secondary School Design Packet to guide your thinking as you follow the steps of an Engineering Design Process (EDP).
      NOTE: Either you, your teacher, parent or team member must sign-up to receive the Design Packet.
    • When you have completed steps 1- 8 in your Design Packet include your work for each step in your Glog. Create a video that specifically shows steps 6-8. Questions and requirements are listed below to help guide your work.
      1. IDENTIFY THE PROBLEM: State the problem clearly.
        • What have you learned that may lead to an innovative JWST Spinoff technology? Keep a list of questions you have about Spinoff technology.
        • Pick one Spinoff to create an invention that uses the technology to solve a problem you identify in your home, school or neighborhood. Which mission originally used this technology?
        • What are the greatest obstacles you anticipate with designing your own Spinoff innovation?
      2. IDENTIFY THE CRITERIA AND CONSTRAINTS: What criteria and constraints should you consider as you create a new use for the technology? What criteria will be the most difficult to meet? Why?
      3. BRAINSTORM POSSIBLE SOLUTIONS: Include sketches and examples of your brainstormed ideas in your Glog.
      4. SELECT A DESIGN: Justify why you’ve selected your design.
      5. BUILD A MODEL: Document how you built your model.
      6. TEST THE MODEL AND EVALUATE: Demonstrate testing the model. Discuss the strengths and weaknesses of your model.
      7. SHARE THE SOLUTION: Share what you have learned through trial and error.
      8. REFINE THE SOLUTION: Suggest ways that you might improve your design.

    3 Design Review

    • Create a Design Review video (no more than 3 minutes) that shares the rationale for your design and final reflections. Include this information in your video:
      • A quick overview of the original technology from JWST.
      • A description of how you are adapting the original technology to create your Spinoff technology.
      • A description of the need for the Spinoff and its capabilities.
      • A justification of the technical basis and feasibility of this Spinoff; does the science, math, and engineering support this work.
      • Cite a technical basis that shows that this application is feasible.
      • Any questions you might ask a Subject Matter Expert (SME) or engineer to help improve your design.
    • Upload your Design Review video on Youtube and link to it in your Glog.
      • Videos included in Glogs that are selected for inWorld OPSPARC, will be reviewed by subject matter experts on a special Youtube channel where they will make comments to help improve your designs. These experts may include NASA engineers, technologists and scientists.

    4 Submit

    • Submit the OPSPARC Glogster Multimedia Poster no later than February 10, 2017. Glogs will NOT be accepted unless ALL team members are registered and have received parent permission. You must tag team member usernames in the final Glog submitted.

    5 inWorld OPSPARC

    Twenty teams will be selected for inWorld OPSPARC

  • Engineering Design Process

    Graph with the Engineering Design Process, reads: identify the problem; identify criteria and constraints; brainstorm possible solutions; select a design; build a model or prototype; test the model and evaluate; refine the design; share the solution.


    Criteria are specific conditions that must be met to solve the problem.

    Constraints are factors that limit a solution.

  • InWorld OPSPARC
  • world-1

    Avatars explore students’ ideas within the NIAUniverse.

  • Twenty high school (grades 9 – 12) OPSPARC teams will be selected to continue developing their designs with a college engineering mentor in the NIAUniverse, a virtual world and gaming environment.

    Mentors will select the teams they choose to lead by reviewing the high school Glogs.

  • Once selected, the college mentors will work with their high school teams to improve designs, create 3D virtual models of the designs, develop a marketing plan and showcase this work within a virtual world.

  • world-2

    A 3D virtual model of the James Webb Space Telescope.

  • world-3

    3D virtual models displayed within the NIAUniverse.

  • Teams will have the opportunity to share their ideas and receive feedback from subject matter experts (SME) and engineers through a design review.

  • Teams will receive an InWorld OPSPARC Handbook with specific steps they must take.