Organizations offering STEM Challenges

AIAA - BWSI Build a CubeSat Challenge


AIAA BWSI Build a CubeSat Logo

Accepting Applications!

Welcome!  Are you ready for a Challenge!

The American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics and MIT Beaver Works Summer Institute


What: Build, learn and demonstrate operation of a 1U CubeSat

Mission: Detect colored plastic in the ocean from space

Who: High school students in USA interested in learning about satellites!  Team of 5 students led by team coach (teachers, mentors)

When: January 17 to May 14, 2022

Resources: Hardware kit for each team, access to online course (self-paced), bi-weekly office hours

Final Event:  Saturday, May 21, 2022 10am to 4pm EDT (virtual)

Team Application Deadline: December 31, 2021

Teams apply Here!

If you are interested in mentoring as part of this program, Apply here!

For more information see our FAQ

AIAA-BWSI Build a CubeSat Challenge Overview: Build, Learn and Demonstrate 1U CubeSat with hardware provided

The initial AIAA-BWSI Challenge will focus on the Build A CubeSat project in which teams compete to develop their own 1U CubeSat to complete an ocean science research mission. Teams of roughly five students work together to develop satellite subsystems that can power and support an optical payload while analyzing data and wireless transmitting the results to a ground station.

The final competitions will be a virtual conference using student video submissions and online conferencing tools for live presentations, Q&A and Awards.


Each team will be provided with:

  • Hardware kit (~$250, functioning 1U CubeSat components) 

  • Access to BWSI Build a CubeSat online course

  • Mentoring support (office hours, technical mentors)