NASA is inviting students in grades 5-8 to participate in the Waste Limitation Management and Recycling Design Challenge. The challenge uses real-world scenarios that meet science and mathematics content standards. Students can participate in a formal, informal or home-school setting.

Teams of up to six students will design a water recycling system for the unique environment of the moon. Teams will then test their system on a simulated wastewater stream. The proposal deadline has been extended to Feb. 15, 2010.

The winning teams will be announced in May 2010. The top three teams will receive awards. The first place team will receive an expense-paid trip to NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida. During the winning team’s visit to Kennedy, students will gain firsthand knowledge about NASA’s missions, receive behind-the-scenes tours of NASA’s launch facilities, and learn about future aerospace and engineering careers.

For more information and contest rules, please visit .

Also available online is the Waste Limitation Management and Recycling Design Challenge Educator Guide. This guide is a starting point for middle school students to research and answer the challenging questions of how to maintain human habitations on the moon and other planets in the solar system. The guide focuses specifically on the need for water recycling. The guide includes background information on topics relating to the moon, Earth’s water cycle and water recycling. Several basic classroom activities on water recycling are also included.

The guide is available for downloading at .

Questions about the Waste Limitation Management and Recycling Design Challenge should be directed to Jay Garland at