ISS Program Overview

The International Space Station (ISS) Program instructs and inspires students to create experiments that will run aboard the ISS. Students receive hands-on training in electrical, mechanical, and software engineering, completing UC college-credit approved coursework and making their mark among the stars.

Course Levels 2-4, 5-6, JH/HS, HS/ Early University.

Level 0


Microgravity is more than serious science, it is fun.  Engage your student’s creative juices at any age,  using block coding and their imaginations to create  video messages from space and mesmerizing space art.

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Level 1

Inspiration Station
Ages 8-12

Level 1 Inspiration Station is a hands-on experience for 5th and 6th grade students to run experiments on the International Space Station (ISS). Students learn age-appropriate concepts in mechanical, electrical, and software engineering as they create and run heat transfer experiments on earth and hypothesize what will happen in microgravity. Their software is then uploaded to the ISS, and the results are returned to them on earth for analysis. The whole experience is team-oriented and created to inspire students to aspirations they never thought possible.

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Level 2

Space Apprentice
Ages 10-15

Level 2 Space Apprentice takes 7th to 12th grade students deeper into the world of space research and provides them with the tools and training to succeed. Building on the Level 1 experience and preparing them for Level 3, students develop technical skills in electrical, mechanical, and software engineering in order to run an automated experiment on the ISS. Using Lego MindStorm coding, the Space Apprentice program follows a 30-hour curriculum with lesson plans for mentors to guide a team of students through the entire learning process.

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Level 3

ISS REsearch PLatform
Ages 14-18

Level 3 ISS Space Lab is a 9-month, hands-on experience for students 14 to 18 years of age to create their own experiment to run aboard the ISS. The culmination of the Quest for Space Program, students work in teams through the entire engineering process to conceptualize, construct, and prepare their experiment for launch. Each team submits draft documentation for review and approval by NASA in order to be included on NASA’s flight plans and installed on the ISS for 30 days. At this level, students get to use their creativity and technical skills to investigate solutions to real-world problems while using the latest technology on the ISS. Students may present their research at ASGSR or ISS research and development conferences and even obtain industry recognition for their work.

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Levels of Engagement

Years Sending Experiments to ISS

Countries Deployed

Member Schools

Microsoft Highlights Quest ISS Program

Watch the video Microsoft made to highlight the incredible work students are doing with our Quest ISS program to launch innovative experiments in space. 

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