Meet the Your Place in Space Challenge Winners

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High school teachers across the country worked with their students this past fall to enter the U.S. Department of Education’s (Department’s) Your Place in Space Challenge. The challenge was the first in the CTE Momentum series, which prepares high school students for rewarding careers and increases access to career and technical education (CTE). Through the Your Place in Space Challenge, teachers helped their students develop and submit designs for a product or service that advances space missions and explorations.

Dr. Amy Loyd, Assistant Secretary for the Office of Career, Technical, and Adult Education, announced the winners today, celebrating dedicated teachers and their innovative students.

“With national initiatives like Raise the Bar: Lead the World and Unlocking Career Success, the Department is on a journey to ensure that all students receive an education that enables them to succeed and thrive in school — and in life. That’s why we launched CTE Momentum,” said Dr. Loyd. “Please join me in congratulating the winning schools, their teachers, and their students, as we celebrate the incredible opportunities that public education has to offer.”

Expert reviewers and judges

A panel of experts evaluated all eligible submissions, advancing the top submissions to be scored by the following judges:

  • Ali Guarneros Luna, Senior System Architect at Lockheed Martin
  • Megan McArthur, an astronaut at NASA
  • Niteesh Elias, Director of Product Design at Honeywell Aerospace
  • Nithya Govindasamy, Senior Director of Policy at Advance CTE
  • Ted Tagami, CEO and co-founder of

After scoring the submissions against the selection criteria, the judges recommended eight winners.

Meet the challenge winners

Congratulations to the Your Place in Space Challenge winners:

  • Anderson W. Clark Magnet High School in La Crescenta, California — Global Mars Navigation: An app for astronauts
  • Chapel Hill High School in Chapel Hill, North Carolina — Freeze-dried Probiotics: Decreasing gut epithelium leakage and reducing risk of food-borne illness in astronauts
  • Collierville High School in Collierville, Tennessee — Chamomile in Space: Growing food and medicine to support space exploration
  • Greater Lowell Technical High School in Tyngsborough, Massachusetts — Vocational Space Habitat: Creating viable living conditions on other planets
  • Halifax County High School in South Boston, Virginia — Plant Pods: Creating sustainable meal solutions on our way to Mars
  • Hirschi High School in Wichita Falls, Texas — AI Satellite System for Cybersecurity: Using recycled materials to prevent cyberattacks in low-earth orbit
  • Kealakehe High School in Kailua Kona, Hawaii — Space Occupation Simulators: Empowering community through a high school initiative
  • Shaker High School in Latham, New York — Hydroponics System: Producing food on Mars

In recognition of their innovative work, the winning teams will each receive $6,250 and in-kind prizes. These prizes include virtual mentorship from experts at Vast Space, Space STEM kits from MaxIQ Space, simulated space missions facilitated by Challenger Center, and facility and manufacturing tours at Blue Origin.

Participate in the CTE Momentum series

Teachers and students interested in the next CTE Momentum challenge can mark their 2024-2025 calendars for the upcoming Power Your Future Challenge. This next challenge will focus on careers in clean energy.

To receive updates about the Power Your Future Challenge, visit and subscribe to the series newsletter.