Apollo Next Giant Leap Student Challenge

This event is being organized by the Northwest Earth And Space Sciences Pipeline (NESSP) and is funded through the NASA Science Mission Directorate. This team-based challenge for 5th - 12th graders involves learning to pilot a drone, program a Lego Mindstorm, and work together on a team to achieve an ambitious, complex goal.

Student teams have until May 20th to prepare for the challenge and demonstrate readiness to compete in the July Regional Event in Seattle. Two teams from our region will compete in Seattle for the ultimate prize--a free trip to NASA.

The Northwest Discovery Lab is pleased to be the local organization for teams in Kitsap, Jefferson, Mason, and Clallam counties.

Who can participate?

The ANGLeS Challenge is open to all students in the United States and territories who are in grades 5-12. We encourage everyone to give the challenge a try!

What are the prizes?

The top team from each regional challenge hub will receive a trip to Johnson Space Center in August 2019.

The top team from each state, Washington D.C., and territories will receive official recognition.

How much?

There is no charge to participate in the challenge and team registration is free.

How do I participate?

If you are coaching/leading a team, register here:

Register A Team

If you are assisting or mentoring a team, register here:

Adult Mentor Registration

If you are youth, and would like to register to be a part of a team, register here:

Youth Registration

Field Kit

We have a limited number of Mission Mats, EV3 kits, and UAV drones to loan to each team for the challenge. In order to allow the maximum number of teams to participate, we ask that teams provide their own equipment wherever possible.

  • 8ft x 10ft Mission Mat (1)
  • Force1 Blue Heron UAV U49W (1)
  • USB Drive with manuals, curriculum & activities (1)
  • Rock Samples (1)
  • Lego Mindstorms EV3 Robotics Kit (1)

* Teams will need to supply their own tablet or laptop for programming the EV3

Any borrowed equipment will need to be returned to NWDL by June 7th.

Lunar Mission Mat

Mission mats can be ordered through the NWDL Store.

Local Qualifier

Representatives from the NWDL will schedule a time to meet with your team between May 20-24th. The NWDL will select at least 2 teams by May 31st to advance to a regional event in July.

Background Check

All team coaches and adult mentors will be required to complete a background check through Verified Volunteers. The cost is $10.

Event Dates

  • Team Registration Deadline: April 2nd
  • Mission Field Kit Arrival: April 12th
  • Team Mission Patch Deadline: April 19th
  • Local Qualifiers: May 20-24th
  • Regional Competition in Seattle: July 16–20th
  • Winner Showcase Johnson Space Center in Houston: August 5-7th

Olympic/Kitsap Peninsula Teams

NWDL Sponsored Teams

Silver Ridge Robotic Dragons
- Silverdale, WA

6th grade STEAMers
Blue Heron Middle School - Port Townsend, WA

6th grade STEAMers 2
Blue Heron Middle School - Port Townsend, WA

6th grade STEAMers 3
Blue Heron Middle School - Port Townsend, WA

The Lemonheads
Blue Heron Middle School - Port Townsend, WA

Brownsville Elementary - Bremerton, WA

CHS Cowboys
Chimacum School District 49 - Chimacum, WA

Team TechRex
Clallam County 4-H - Port Angeles, WA

Forks Intermediate
Forks Intermediate School - Forks, WA

Forks Spartans
Forks Junior/Senior High School - Forks, WA

Franklin Elementary School - Port Angeles, WA

Franklin 2
Franklin Elementary School - Port Angeles, WA

Howling Space Chickens
Jefferson County 4-H - Port Townsend, WA

Howling Space Chickens II
Jefferson County 4-H - Port Townsend, WA

Jefferson Challengers
Jefferson Elementary School - Port Angeles, WA

Olympia High School Robotics
Olympia High School - Olympia, WA

Olympic Peninsula Academy - Sequim, WA

Olympic Peninsula Academy - Sequim, WA

Olympic Peninsula Academy - Sequim, WA

Team Awesome
Peninsula College - Upward Bound Program - Port Angeles, WA

Port Angeles High School STEM Club - Port Angeles, WA

The Ridge
Roosevelt Elementary School - Port Angeles, WA

Sequim High School
Sequim High School - Sequim, WA

Silver Ridge Robotics
Silver Ridge Elementary - Silverdale, WA

Stevens Middle School
Stevens Middle School - Port Angeles, WA

Stevens Middle School
Stevens Middle School - Port Angeles, WA

If you have any questions email apollo@nwdiscoverylab.org!

The Challenge


Each team will build a replica of the lunar module and use a remote-controlled drone to land it on an 8-by-10-foot map of the moon’s surface. Students will modify and program a Lego Mindstorms EV3 robot to then explore the lunar surface and bring back a rock sample.

High school students will also use the drone to retrieve the team’s lunar module and bring it back to the starting line.

Event Components

  1. Build a replica of the Apollo Lunar Module and use a UAV to land it at the Apollo 11 lunar landing site.
  2. Design and build a robotics system replicating an Apollo astronaut or rover to navigate the surface of the Moon and complete a series of challenges.
  3. Develop a scientific or cultural payload that the robot delivers to the surface of the Moon.
  4. Retrieve a sample from nearby the crater and transport it to the Lunar Module.
  5. Identify a rock sample associated with the sample retrieved by the Lunar Rover.
  6. Depart the Moon by having the UAV recover the Lunar Module from the Moon and return it to the starting location (high school required, middle school optional).

Team Mission Patch

Every NASA mission has a mission patch that illustrates the goal and spirit of the project, where the project originates from, and which institutions are participating.

Your team will create their own mission patch.

Challenge Downloads

  Description Size
  Lego EV3 Software  
Adobe PDF U49W Drone Manual (PDF) 11.89 MB
Adobe PDF Challenge Manual v1.3 (PDF) 1.23 MB
Adobe PDF Flight Director Info Packet (PDF) 1.21 MB
Adobe PDF Lunar Surface Mat (PDF) 11.27 MB
Adobe PDF Apollo 50th Student Challenge Flyer (PDF) 457.41 KB
Adobe PDF Apollo 50th Student Challenge Brochure (PDF) 9.68 MB
Adobe PDF Rock Samples (PDF) 1.16 MB

Team Members


The Commander is responsible for managing it during the challenge to keep the UAV in a safe operating range.

Lunar Module Pilot

The Lunar Module Pilot is responsible for piloting the UAV.

EVA Officer

The Extravehicular Activity Officer, or EVA Officer, is the primary team member responsible for operating, adapting, and executing the Lunar Rover programs.

Science Office

The Science Officer is responsible for the identifying the rock samples retrieved by the Lunar Rover.


The Spacecraft Communicator, or CAPCOM, may give verbal or visual signals as guidance to the Lunar Module Pilot during Mission Objective 1: Lunar Landing.