March 5 – NESSP March Newsletter 🗓

In this issue we’ll highlight several important dates for Artemis ROADS II National Student Challenge teams, take a peek at some of the teams’ Mission Patches, learn about Women in STEM, encourage our Washington and Oregon 8th and 9th grade students to apply to the Explore Mars Academy and spotlight this summer’s Mini-Missions.

Email with any questions!

Important Dates for Artemis ROADS II Teams

March 5, 2024 Lunar Flyby stage open

Submit an in-progress MDL showing your team’s work for 3 Mission Objectives (MOs)! You will need to show progress on 3 MOs besides MO-02 Mission Patch. Your team does not need to have completed the 3 additional MOs, your team just needs to show evidence of and your work in progress.

Teams that plan to attend an in-person Expo event will also register during the Lunar Flyby stage.

March 6, 2024 5:00 pm Pacific Artemis ROADS II Mission Advisor Support Session #2

Do you have questions about how to register your team for an in-person final challenge event? We have answers. The second Mission Advisor Support Session will provide information on Lunar Flyby submissions and In-person final challenge events. There will also be time for questions!

March 15, 2024 Lunar Flyby stage closes 5 pm Pacific

Teams must upload evidence of their work for any 3 Mission Objectives (MOs) besides MO-02 Mission. Teams planning to attend an in-person final challenge Expo must register online.

March 13 & 26, 2024 Mini-Mission virtual Information Sessions 5:30 pm Pacific

Educators – Are you interested in hosting a Mini-Mission this summer at your location? Join us and learn how to host a 2024 Mini-Mission session this summer.

March 13th:

March 26th:

March 20, 2024 NASA Expert: Dr. Ernest K. Lewis at 3:30 pm Pacific

Join us for our 2nd Artemis ROADS II NASA Expert talk! Dr. Lewis will discuss how he builds planets from a chemistry perspective, including modeling how a planet’s surface interacts with different materials, such as the boots of astronauts and rovers.

Patches, Patches and More Patches!

Congratulations to all the teams who uploaded their Mission Patch (MO-02) during the Injection Burn stage!

We love your originality and creativity and seeing how you’ve incorporated your team and communities into your Mission Patches.

Check out all the great patch designs by the Artemis ROADS II teams on our social media pages! New team patches are added to our social media sites daily.


Women in STEM

The history of women’s contributions to the fields of science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) is long and varied. But it has also often been overlooked or underrepresented. The Women in Science Series ( highlights only a very few of the women who have made important discoveries and have had a crucial impact on STEM fields. This is not just a look into the past. Today, women are in every STEM discipline, in every type of job, and represent the widest range of background and experiences.

Download the Women in STEM poster ( to learn about sample STEM activities to try and resources highlighting STEM careers and similar interests.

Explore Mars Academy – We Need You!

Applications are now being accepted for the 2024 Explore Mars Academy. 

The Explore Mars Academy is a week-long residential summer academic enrichment program for Washington and Oregon students currently in the 8th or 9th grade who have a strong interest in science, engineering, and math.

Participants will reside in a dorm on the campus of Central Washington University in Ellensburg, Washington during the week of July 21 – 26, 2024. 

Journey to space as you plan a mission to return geologic samples from Mars. Through hands-on activities, you’ll learn about planetary geology, space flight, robots, and rockets.

There are no costs to participate! All meals, housing and materials are provided free of charge. Participants are responsible for providing their own travel to and from Ellensburg. 

The Explore Mars Academy is free!!! However, space is limited. Preference will be given to low-income, underrepresented, underserved, and college bound applicants.

We want you to spend your summer with us! Apply online today at

Explore Mars Academy Important dates

  • April 12, 2024 Review of applicants begins
  • April 25, 2024 Applicant interviews
  • May 05, 2024 Candidate selections and invitations emailed (1st round)
  • May 19, 2024 Candidate selections and invitations emailed (2nd round)
  • May 30, 2024 All applications must be received
  • June 3 & 6, 2024 Explore Mars Academy virtual Information Sessions (candidate and parent must attend 1 session)
  • July 21 – 26, 2024 Explore Mars Academy in session

The 2024 Summer Mini-Missions are coming!

NESSP’s mini-mission program offers curriculum and supplies for educator-led activities across the northwest region and rural, underserved communities in the US. Our mini-missions work well in various situations, from summer camps to scouting activities to after-school programs. Stipends and professional development are offered to qualified educators. Mini-missions are short versions of NESSP ROADS programs. Educators are invited to use these activities to host a day camp with students in their community in July or August 2024.  Stipends and materials are available for educators that attend Mini-Mission training. There are a limited number for each Mini-Mission available. Priority will be given to educators hosting Mini-missions in rural, underserved and underrepresented areas.

Join us on March 13th or 26th at 5:30 pm via Zoom ( for a virtual Mini-Mission Information Session. These sessions will cover how to host a 2024 Mini-Mission session, educational materials, recruitment, instructor stipend, virtual training, and equipment loans.

Mini-MissionArtemis ROADS Mini MissionROADS on Icy Worlds Mini- MissionJames Webb Telescope Mini-Mission
DescriptionStudents will explore STEM through hands-on activities based on NASA’s Artemis mission which simulates living and working on the moon.Students will spend the week completing a series of hands-on activities that mimic aspects of planning a rover mission to an icy world like Europa.Students will learn about the James Webb Space Telescope (JWST) with hands-on NASA-themed activities.
Grade level3 – 123 – 126 – 12
DatesJuly & AugustJuly & AugustJuly
Scheduled Announcement Newsletter