Activities

Buckle up

Your STEMnaut adventure begins here – and could end on May 31, 2017, with you winning the grand prize.

Each week, NASA and Texas Instruments will post questions, riddles and brainteasers for you to figure out using the coding and STEM* problem-solving processes that make human life in space possible. Correct answers are worth anywhere from one to 20 points and you can attempt each answer as many times as you like in accordance with the contest rules. Use the mission patches below to navigate each set of challenges.


Use the free TI Connect™ CE software application to download and install contest programs on calculators. Download.


Use TI-SmartView™ Emulator Software for the TI-84 Plus graphing family to run contest programs. Requires adult sponsor to download free 90-day trial.

Mission Status Board

  1. 1. Sylvania Northview High S - 147
  2. 1. Sea And Sun - 147
  3. 1. Ryans Riddle Rascals - 147
  4. 1. ACPAMath - 147
  5. 1. AlGoreRhythms - 147
  6. 1. Majestic Magical Meatball - 147
  7. 1. HS2 Daags - 147
  8. 1. Spartans - 147
  9. 1. AstroKnights - 147
  10. 1. Iris - 147
View all

STAGE 1: International Space Station (ISS)

The ISS supports a wide range of scientific inquiry. Enter the laboratory.

Breathing Easy IS Simple (4 points)0

Welcome to your Breathing Easy IS Simple (4 points)

Breathe in, Breathe out
It’s important! No doubt!
From water to oxygen
It repeats again and again
Oh Gee Ess
Air is the best!
But how is it done on this celestial abode?
To find out, you must run the code!




Hint: One word answer


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Space Station Training Mixup (5 points)0

Welcome to your Space Station Training Mixup (5 points)



Jeannette Epps was so excited. She just learned she would be a crew member on the space station for Expedition 56/57 beginning in 2018. She fired off a quick email to one of her astronaut friends, Scott Tingle, to let him know. In her excitement, the last two words of her email got mixed up. Where is she going?


Hi Scott,
I’m off to the space station in 2018! I guess it is time to buy winter clothes for training in Dyst Voyu!





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A Giant Jig Saw Puzzle (20 points)0

Welcome to your A Giant Jig Saw Puzzle (20 points)




The International Space Station is a massive orbiting science laboratory that spans the length of a football field. Countries from around the world submit experiments to be tested on the ISS.


But how did ISS come to be? How was it created? The answer: piece by piece. Like a giant jigsaw puzzle in space, ISS was built over many years with the help of several countries and space agencies.




So, now it’s your turn. Unravel a sequence of clues and hints and misdirects as you learn about specific missions involved in the idea, design, construction, and operation of the International Space Station. Start by downloading the zip file, transferring both files to your calculator and opening “ISSPUZZL” and running it.

Download calculatorfiles.zip






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Attention from Orbit (1 point)0

Welcome to your Attention from Orbit (1 point)


Former captain of the West Point baseball team AND an astronaut? This ISS commander found time while in orbit to record a video announcing the Search for STEMnauts contest.

Enter their first and last name to earn this point.


 




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World Cup Spectator (15 points)0

Welcome to your World Cup Spectator (15 points)



Two American members of International Space Station Expedition 40 crew - NASA astronauts Reid Wiseman and Steve Swanson - made a friendly wager with European Space Agency astronaut Alexander Gerst of Germany:

If Team USA beat Germany in the 2014 World Cup soccer tournament, then Reid and Steve would paint the American Flag on Alexander's bald head. If Germany won, the Americans would shave their heads.

The Americans lost the bet, but still won accolades from soccer fans around the world with their series of spectacular photographs of the cup venues.

Decipher this message they posted when asked if they were outside the space station when they took the photos:

#-@!-!^-!%-!@-!


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Social Cipher (12 points)0

Welcome to your Social Cipher (12 points)

NASA and TI love sharing fun, interesting photos on social – especially when they announced the Search for STEMnauts contest on April 19, 2017.

Some images on their feeds require more than just a quick glance to really understand what they communicate. Some even require decrypting!


This won’t earn you points, but here’s a hint for unlocking the hidden message.
The name of this contest is: 19, 5, 1, 18, 3, 8, 6, 15, 18, 19, 20, 5, 13, 14, 1, 21, 20, 19

Follow TICalculators on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram for more fun!



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How to Flee Orbital Debris (15 points)0

Welcome to your How to Flee Orbital Debris (15 points)

Orbital debris is all of the non-functional parts and pieces from past space missions and collisions that have occurred over the many decades of space exploration from many countries. It includes about 20,000 objects that are larger than a softball, and about half a million objects smaller than a softball. Fortunately all of these objects can be tracked at all times. Because of the relative velocities between the ISS and some of this debris, it is possible that an object could hit the ISS and cause a loss of pressure and life support systems. There are procedures that are followed if such an event is predicted. The first approach is to avoid the collision by changing the relative location of ISS using the Russian thrusters. It takes about 30 hours to coordinate such a move, called a Debris Avoidance Maneuver. The protocol requires a safe zone around the ISS of 30 miles wide by 30 miles long by 1 mile high. It is affectionately known as the “Pizza Box”. If the probability of collision is greater than 1 in 10,000, a maneuver will be conducted unless it will result in additional risk to the crew. If that isn’t possible, the residents onboard ISS are instructed to move to the Russian Soyuz spacecraft in case a collision harms the ISS. This way, the astronauts can be returned safely to Earth if things go wrong.


Your challenge is to run a program called, “PIZZABOX” and determine what course of action is required.

Download PIZZABOX.8xp

 


 


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Going the Distance (10 points)0

Welcome to your Going the Distance (10 points)

Astronauts in space must exercise at least two hours a day to keep their bones and muscles healthy. Some astronauts, though, take it a step further. Can you decipher the coded message that Astronaut Suni Williams sent to let folks know what she did while she was on the space station?

Use the clue at this link and the coded message (below) to solve the puzzle.
{(1, 9), (4, 4), (9, 7), (2, 3), (8, 1), (14, 9), (10, 6), (16, 1)}


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STAGE 2: Down to Earth

The view from space is amazing.

Take my breath away (5 points)0

Welcome to your Take my breath away (5 points)

Run the TI-Basic code on your TI-84 Plus CE and use the hint to identify the number of this very special building at NASA Johnson Space Center that will literally take your breath away


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Diving into the deep blue to explore the red planet (15 points)0

Welcome to your Diving into the deep blue to explore the red planet (15 points)

NASA uses extreme environments on our own planet to learn about extreme environments on other planets. Training in the Aquarius undersea habitat, for instance, and on the ocean floor surrounding it enables astronauts to prepare for possible conditions and contingencies at a Mars base.

The 16-day mission pictured here happened last year with an international crew, who made simulated space walks along the ocean floor collecting samples for marine biology and geology studies. Problem solving under extreme conditions is one of the purposes for these training missions.

Your task is to answer questions using the TI-Basic program called, “NEEMO” on your TI-84 Plus CE. So get ready to dive deep and solve these puzzles.

Start by downloading the zip file, transferring both files to your calculator and opening “NEEMO” and running it.

Download calculatorfiles.zip

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Where are the Whales (2 points)0

Welcome to your Where are the Whales (2 points)

NASA uses satellite data to predict the occurrence of whales off the west coast of the United States and prevent collisions with ships.

What is the name of the online tool that helps reduce whale mortality from collisions with shipping and fishing gear?

Follow @NASAEarth and check out this post to learn more.

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Message Saved to the Cloud (25 points)0

Welcome to your Message Saved to the Cloud (25 points)

NASA Astronaut Tracy Caldwell Dyson has spent over 188 days in space. As a crew member for Expedition 23/24 aboard the International Space Station in 2011, she observed cloud formations for NASA’s “Students' Cloud Observations On-Line” project. When asked by a student, "How can you determine the height of clouds from space?", she logged on to her laptop and replied:

01110011011101010110111001110011011001010111010001110011001
00000011011010110000101101011011001010010000001110100011010
00011001010111001101100101001000000111011001101001011100110
11010010110001001101100011001010010000001100010011001010110
10000110100101101110011001000010000001110100011010000110010
10010000001100011011011000110111101110101011001000111001100
00110100001010

"Oh no!" she said. "My computer converted my hint into 1s and 0s!"

Download and use the TI-Basic Program to convert the computer error back to the correct letters and use her hint to help find the one-word answer.


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The Four Elements (4 points)0

Welcome to your The Four Elements (4 points)

Terra is one of NASA’s remote sensing satellites that incorporate the Moderate-resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) sensing system. Run the TI-Basic program on your TI-84 Plus CE to get a hint about the name of this storm that the MODIS system aboard Terra photographed.

Start by downloading the zip file, transferring both files to your calculator and opening “CYCLONE” and running it.

Download calculatorfiles.zip

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Protein Science (10 points)0

Welcome to your Protein Science (10 points)

The International Space Station (ISS) is an orbiting laboratory where work in all science fields is conducted. Research in genetics and molecular biology have given scientists a new look into the biological effects of microgravity, such as variations that were found in astronaut Scott Kelly’s genetic code after spending a year on the ISS. Other research being published includes astronaut Kate Rubins’ experiment to sequence DNA in space for the first time. Now, see if you can transcribe and translate these DNA strands to RNA, and then to a simple protein. Use the first letter for each amino acid to spell out the answer to this challenge.

DNA Strand 1 GTT-ATA-TAC-GCA-CTT-AGC
DNA Strand 2 CAA-TAT-ATG-CGT-GAA-TCG
mRNA codons____-____-____-____-_____-____
Amino Acid _________-__________-_________-__________-_________-_________

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Don't chill in Kuril (4 points)0

Welcome to your Don't chill in Kuril (4 points)

A cosmonaut’s view of home:
An angry dome.
It’s hot and loud!
A giant cloud.
Molten rock flows.
Now run the code.
Come on! Give it try!
Who am I?

Start by downloading the zip file, transferring both files to your calculator and opening “VOLCANO” and running it.

Download calculatorfiles.zip

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STAGE 3: Deep Space Patrol

Coming Soon

STAGE 4: Mission to Mars

Coming Soon

STAGE 5: Adventures in Aeronautics

Coming Soon

STAGE 6: Fun with Technology

Coming Soon