Roger That! Design Challenge

After the success of Roger That! 2017, which commemorated the life of native son, Roger B. Chaffee, and the brave astronauts of Apollo 1, Grand Valley State University and Grand Rapids Public Museum are teaming up again for Roger That! 2018, which will be held on Friday, February 16th and Saturday, February 17th, 2018. 

We invite interested 5th - 8th grade students in the greater Grand Rapids area to participate in the Roger That! Design Challenge.

Separate awards will be presented for 5th - 6th grade and 7th - 8th grade.

Challenge Topic Categories

  • Humans in Space (e.g., bone and muscle loss in zero gravity, harmful radiation effects, etc.)
  • Communities in Space (e.g., structures & materials to protect from radiation, terraforming, etc.)
  • Robots in space (e.g., search & rescue, maintenance, exploration of hostile environments, etc.)

Examples of things you can do

  • Explain concepts related to space or space exploration
  • Discuss solutions to barriers to space exploration
  • Write a story or perform a  play about space travel or life in space
  • Design clothing, buildings, or devices for space travel or life in space
  • Build physical devices (robots or models) to be used in space exploration
  • Create a webpage or computer model relevant to space or space exploration

How to participate

  1. Select a topic.
  2. Form a team (recommended size 2-6 students), and research your topic.
  3. Email your project reflection and your project documentation to  by Friday, February 9.
  4. Projects will be on display Friday, February 16 at GVSU and Saturday, February 17 at GRPM as part of the Roger That! conference programming.

Project Reflection

Project Reflection (up to 5 pages including figures and bibliography) should include:

  1. Your reason(s) for choosing the problem
  2. Your research into the problem
  3. Your solution to the problem
  4. Something(s) you learned that surprised you
  5. The most challenging part of your project

Awards Will Be Based On:

  • Project documentation (copy or picture of your poster, your story, video of your play, pictures of any physical models or robots, etc.)
  • Project reflection (content, scientific accuracy, grammar, appropriate referencing)
  • Innovation (creativity and originality)

Prizes Will Include:

  • Certificates for each team member  
  • Pizza party for your class/club
  • Droid Inventor Kit for your classroom (if winning teams are linked to a school club rather than a class, the kit will need to be kept by a teacher or other school employee for use by the club)

For any other questions or concerns please contact us at

Page last modified December 8, 2017