NASA and the LEGO Group are partnering to inspire the next generation of aerospace engineers by offering a new design competition. The competition will spur students of all ages to use the toy bricks in building models of future airplanes and spacecraft.
The “NASA’s Missions: Imagine and Build” competition opens Wednesday with an entry deadline of July 31. Winners in each category will be selected by a panel of NASA and LEGO officials and announced Sept. 1.
The first category in the contest is “Inventing our Future of Flight.” In this challenge, participants will design and build their idea for an aircraft of the future based on real concepts and new technology NASA’s aeronautics innovators are working on to increase fuel efficiency and reduce harmful emissions and noise.
In addition to building a model from LEGO bricks or using the LEGO Digital Designer computer program, participants in this category also must prepare and write a technical paper. The paper will explain how the contest design takes advantage of NASA’s ideas and potentially improves on them.
This category divides entrants into two groups: young student builders ages 13 to 18 and an open group for anyone age 13 and older. The two winners will receive a custom-made LEGO trophy and a collection of NASA memorabilia.
The second contest category is “Imagine our Future Beyond Earth.” In this challenge, participants will use their imaginations to design and build a futuristic vehicle from LEGO bricks that might travel through the air or in space. It could be an airplane, rotorcraft, rocket, spacecraft, satellite, rover or something else. The design can be based in reality or purely a flight of fancy. This competition is open to entrants 16 or older. The grand prize is a LEGO set signed by the set’s designer and a collection of NASA memorabilia. There also is a runner up prize.
To read the complete rules and guidelines for submitting the LEGO model and technical paper, visit