What Is INSGC?

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Indiana Space Grant Consortium is one of the 52 Consortia part of the National Space Grant College and Fellowship Program. In the state of Indiana, INSGC is a source of NASA-related information, awards and programs.

The consortium works to carry out education, research, and public outreach activities in science, mathematics, engineering, and technology (STEM) related to space, aeronautics, aviation, and Earth system science, all while advocating increased financial and government support for Space Grant Consortia.

Consisting of 26 different affiliates including colleges, universities, businesses, and other private and public sector institutions, INSGC promotes aerospace education and career training by

    1. Supporting STEM students through various scholarship, internship and fellowship opportunities
    2. Assisting faculty and students in their development of skills in STEM related fields
    3. Offering experiential training aligned with NASA Strategic Enterprises, and
    4. Inspiring public interest in aerospace-related disciplines and lifelong learning through partnerships with educators at all levels...

OSTEM Highlights 2021

Here's why the Space Grant is important!

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September 21st, 2021

A $15,000 grant from the Indiana Space Grant Consortium (INSGC) will fund an undergraduate research project at Trine University that seeks to help understand the impact of spacewalks on astronauts.

Trine University biomedical engineering seniors Madison Howard of Pleasant Lake, Michigan, and Ashley Spirrison of Fishers, Indiana, will lead the project, titled “Developing Microfluidic Technology to Model the Vascular Health of Astronauts.” Max Gong, Ph.D., assistant professor in the Bock Department of Biomedical Engineering, will serve as advisor.

The project seeks to help address concerns NASA has regarding the safety of its astronauts while completing missions outside of Earth’s atmosphere, Gong said.

During missions, astronauts execute Extravehicular Activities (EVAs), commonly referred to as spacewalks, to repair and complete quality checks of spacecraft, and for research and exploration purposes. Prior to an EVA, astronauts must be exposed to 100% hyperoxia (a state of excess supply of oxygen in tissues and organs) for approximately five to eight hours, with repeats of the protocol two to three times each week.

This increase in blood oxygenation has been linked to DNA damage to lung tissue, overproduction of nitric oxide, cell damage from lipid peroxidation, and increased pulmonary fibrosis, Gong said.

Hyperoxia also causes blood vessels to narrow and abnormalities in the architecture of organs, limiting blood flow or fluid transfer through organs.

The Trine students will develop microfluidic vasculature-on-a-chip models, engineered models that mimic living tissues, of blood and lymphatic vessels to investigate the relationship between hyperoxia and its negative health effects. Such models have been used to better understand vascular health in diseases, such as atherosclerosis, Gong said, and can be applied to studying and improving the health of astronauts.

The Indiana Space Grant Consortium was created in 1991 under NASA’s National Space Grant College and Fellowship Program. The Space Grant national network includes organizations working to expand opportunities for Americans to learn about and participate in NASA’s aeronautics and space projects by supporting and enhancing science and engineering education, research and public outreach efforts.

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Columbus Airport has 3 internship positions for the summer of 2023



NASA Wallops Flight Facility is pleased to announce the tenth annual Wallops Rocket Academy for Teachers (WRATS), June 19-22, 2023.  This professional development opportunity offers high school teachers a unique look into NASA’s Sounding Rocket Program utilizing the expertise of program engineers and technicians to learn the basics of rocketry as well as flight and safety operations.  At the present time a launch of a Terrier-Orion rocket containing payloads built by college and university students in the RockOn! program is scheduled that week which may allow for the participants to view it on Wallops Island.  Space is limited so please share this information with all STEM high school teachers as soon as possible!  Participants must be US Citizens.

A $1000 stipend will be provided upon completion of the workshop requirements to help offset any travel and lodging expenses.  A block of rooms at the Wallops Lodge has been reserved for participants. Lodging costs per night are $79 for single occupancy (double occupancy is not possible).  Contact information for the Wallops Lodge will be provided once you have been accepted as a participant.

Contact information for this workshop is provided in the attached flyer.

Thank you for your help distributing and sharing this information with your teachers and colleagues.


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Opportunity for undergraduate and graduate students that VSGC manages for the Transportation Research Board’s Airport Cooperative Research Program.

The FAA-sponsored Airport Cooperative Research Program’s University Design Competition for Addressing Airport Needs provides an outstanding opportunity for individual students or student teams working under the guidance of faculty advisors to design solutions to real-world issues addressing our nation’s airports and the National Air System.


Students win cash prizes ($3,000 for first place, $2,000 for second, and $1,000 for third place) in each of four different broad categories:


  1. Airport Operation and Maintenance
  2. Airport Management and Planning
  3. Airport Environmental Interactions
  4. Runway Safety/ Runway Incursions/Runway Excursions Including Aprons, Ramps, and Taxiway


Airport needs embrace many disciplines including all engineering fields, environmental science, business, data science, computer science, psychology, and many others.  A variety of multidisciplinary topics are suggested, but students can come up with their own relevant topics for their design solution.  The Competition is an excellent open-ended design project for capstone courses and is also frequently used in other courses, for independent study, or as a professional society student chapter project.


First-place winners present their work at an award ceremony at the National Academies of Science, Engineering, and Medicine in Washington, D.C., and also at a relevant national professional conference.  All expenses are covered.


Interaction with airport operators and industry experts is required.  The Competition provides access to experts and airport operators through its program website.

The Competition runs from August 16, 2022 to May 12, 2023.  Students can work in either or both academic semesters.  Additional information regarding the ACRP University Design Competition can be found at the Competition website located at www.trb.org/ACRP/ACRPDesignCompetition.aspx.  The updated guidelines for submission are attached and can be found at https://vsgc.odu.edu/acrpdesigncompetition/guidelines/.


The Airport Cooperative Research Program is part of the Transportation Research Board of the National Academies.  The Virginia Space Grant Consortium manages the Competition on behalf of the ACRP.

The Evansville Museum will host Jeffrey Bennett

The Evansville Museum will host Jeffrey Bennett as its first Scientist in Residence. Dr. Bennett is a college text, children’s book author and astrophysicist based in Colorado. Following up on the Museum’s successes in its Artist in Residence and Historian in Residence programs, the goal of its Scientist in Residence is to create long lasting STEM partnerships between scientists, students and teachers. During the period April 5-7 Dr. Bennett will participate in elementary and middle school visits, college colloquia and conduct teacher training. He will also present the Museum’s Malcolm Koch Memorial Science Lecture.


Students Write Their Way to Profound Experience at NASA Spaceport

December 19th, 2022

Dec 16th

Winning essays resulted in the trip of a lifetime for a group of young space enthusiasts from different parts of the country. Amanda Gutierrez, an 11th-grader from Lincoln, Nebraska, Taia Saurer, an eighth-grader from Laguna Beach, California, and Austin Pritts, a sixth-grader from Wolcott, Indiana, were selected in 2021 as winners of the Artemis Moon Pod Essay Contest.

The grand prize: a trip with their families to NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida, which coincided with the first targeted launch date of the agency’s Space Launch System rocket and Orion spacecraft for the Artemis I mission. Though the rocket did not launch on its first attempt from Kennedy, the essay winners participated in several other activities, including media interviews, tours of various sites throughout America’s multiuser spaceport, and a visit to the Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex. Amanda and Taia also were able to meet and interact with a group of NASA astronauts.

“This experience has been one in a lifetime,” said Gutierrez, who is interested in aerospace engineering. “I was able to experience the energy, the people, and the positivity. And being able to see (the Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex) was so eye-opening and incredible. I feel like I’m part of history.”

Gutierrez’s essay, “Dream Big Moon Pod,” features a chemist, hydrologist, and astronautical engineer who team up to install an Endothermic Electrolysis Reactor (EER), designed to provide fuel and oxygen for future crews at the Moon’s Shackleton Crater.

In “My Mission to the Moon,” Pritts imagines himself as a mechanical engineer, working with a test pilot and chemist to set up a permanent Moon base powered by a nuclear power supply so future astronauts can research the hydrogen and oxygen found in regolith on the Moon’s South Pole.

In Saurer’s composition, “One Week on the Moon – The Artemis Adventure,” a four-person crew – including the first woman to step onto the Moon – builds a habitat for future astronauts using a combination of lunar soil and a fibrous fungal material called mycelium.

“I’ve been interested in space since I turned 4 and saw Curiosity land on Mars,” Saurer said. “It feels so right being around everyone here. I know this is definitely what I want to do; I want to work at NASA, be an astronaut, and hopefully go to Mars.”

Nearly 14,000 students competed in the event – a collaborative effort between NASA’s Office of STEM Engagement and the agency’s Human Exploration and Operations Mission Directorate, in partnership with the online platform Future Engineers.

Through Artemis missions, NASA will land the first woman and the first person of color on the Moon. In collaboration with commercial and international partners, NASA will establish the first long-term presence on the Moon. Then, humanity will use what it learns on and around the Moon to begin the next giant leap: sending the first astronauts to Mars.

Following the historic liftoff of Artemis I from Kennedy’s Launch Pad 39B on Nov. 16, Orion successfully completed its three-week, 1.4 million mile mission beyond the Moon on Dec. 11, setting the record for the farthest from Earth any spacecraft built for humans has ever traveled.

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Grant funding Trine research to help make space travel safer


As efforts intensify to increase the number of manned missions into space, Trine University undergraduate students will once again conduct research to help make such missions safer.

The Indiana Space Grant Consortium (INSGC) has awarded nearly $15,000 to the university to fund an undergraduate research project that will design a model to investigate the impact of the harsh environment of space on lymphatic vessels in the immune system.

Using a similar grant last year, Trine students engineered models that mimic blood tissue to assess the impact on those tissues of the increased oxygen required prior to a spacewalk.

Max Gong, Ph.D., assistant professor in the Bock Department of Biomedical Engineering, will oversee a research team of eight students representing multiple engineering disciplines.

Team members are: Amy Apgar, a biomedical engineering major from Wickliffe, Ohio; Isabella Didonna, a biomedical engineering major from Knox, Indiana; CJ Elston, a chemical engineering major from Plainfield, Indiana; Destany Garcia Ortiz, a design engineering technology major from Indianapolis; Upasana Shrestha, a biomedical engineering major from Nepal; Lilly Speier, a biomedical engineering major from Hartland, Michigan; Aaron Streit, a biomedical engineering major from New Paris, Indiana; and Aiden Theobald, a biomedical engineering major from Waveland, Missouri.

Where no one has gone before

Gong said studies have been conducted investigating the effects of oxidative stress caused by space environmental factors — the imbalance between reactive chemicals formed from oxygen and the body’s ability to cope with them that occurs when oxygen is increased or decreased — on organ systems and immune cells. However, there is minimal research into its impacts on structural components of the immune system such as lymphatic vessels.

“To advance our understanding in this area, engineering students at Trine University propose to develop models to investigate the effect of induced oxidative stress on the lymphatic system, and consequently, on the immune system,” he said.

The team’s goal will be to develop models of lymphatic vessels that better represent actual human vessels. The group will generate its models using human lymphatic endothelial cells (HLECs) acquired from commercial research distributors.

The team will expose models to low- and high-oxygen environments simulating changes in environmental pressure an astronaut may experience during spacewalks and gather data on cell viability and growth as well as secretion of cytokines, substances typically secreted by immune cells. The group also will record data for cultures that include its models along immune cells in the same environment.

Members will compile data to be shared at academic conferences and in research journals.

The Indiana Space Grant Consortium was created in 1991 under NASA’s National Space Grant College and Fellowship Program. The Space Grant national network includes organizations working to expand opportunities for Americans to learn about and participate in NASA’s aeronautics and space projects by supporting and enhancing science and engineering education, research and public outreach efforts.

Photo: Max Gong, Ph.D., left, assistant professor in the Bock Department of Biomedical Engineering at Trine University, will oversee a team of eight students designing a model to investigate the impact of the harsh environment of space on lymphatic vessels in the immune system. From front to back are Amy Apgar, Destany Garcia Ortiz, Upasana Shrestha, CJ Elston, Isabella Didonna, Lilly Speier, Aaron Streit and Aiden Theobald. (Photo by Dean Orewiler)

NASA's 2023 Big Idea Challenge

The 2023 BIG Idea Challenge provides undergraduate and graduate students the opportunity to design, develop, and demonstrate technologies that will enable the production of lunar infrastructure from ISRU-derived metals found on the Moon. Key infrastructure products desired are storage vessels for liquids and gases, extrusions, pipes, power cables, and supporting structures (i.e., roads, landing pads, etc.). Teams are invited to submit proposals that focus on any part of the metal product production pipeline* from prospecting to testing.


The BIG Idea Challenge is open to teams of undergraduate and graduate students at accredited U.S.-based colleges and universities officially affiliated with their state’s Space Grant Consortium. Non-Space Grant affiliated colleges/universities may partner with a Space Grant affiliated academic institution who takes a primary role on the project (i.e., the Space-Grant affiliated university must submit the proposal on behalf of the joint team). Minority Serving Institutions are encouraged to apply.

Each team will submit a detailed and realistic budget in their proposals, not to exceed $180K. A wide range of award sizes is expected (in the range of $50K to $180K), depending on the scope of the work proposed. NASA anticipates funding several larger-scope awards ($125 - $180K) and several smaller-scope awards ($50K - $124K). Proposers are encouraged to request what is actually needed to conduct the proposed work, because value to NASA will be considered in the selections.


All deadlines must be met by 11:59 p.m. ET on the dates specified below, unless otherwise noted.

Late deliverables will not be accepted.

DATE Description

January 24, 2023                                                        Proposal and Video Deadline

March 2, 2023                                                             Teams are notified of their selection status

Mid-March, 2023                                                        1st installment of development stipends sent, as appropriate

June 7, 2023                                                                Deadline for Mid-Project Review (MPR) submission

June 27, 2023                                                              Teams are notified of Pass/Fail status

Early July, 2023                                                           2nd installment stipends are sent as appropriate from SG directly to schools

June - August, 2023                                                    Summer work

September – October 2023                                      Fall work (technology verification demonstrations)

October 2, 2023                                                          Deadline for Forum Registration and Payment

October 14, 2023                                                       Deadline for Forum Hotel Reservations

October 23, 2023                                                       Deadline to submit Technical Paper and Technology Verification Demo

November 12, 2023 4:00 PM Eastern Time           Deadline to submit Presentation Chart Deck and Digital Poster

November 15-17, 2023 2                                          023 BIG Idea Forum (Glenn Research Center, Cleveland, OH)




INSGC Photo Of The Day

Feb 14th 2023

Explanation: Is the heart and soul of our Galaxy located in Cassiopeia? Possibly not, but that is where two bright emission nebulas nicknamed Heart and Soul can be found. The Heart Nebula, officially dubbed IC 1805 and visible in the featured image on the upper right, has a shape reminiscent of a classical heart symbol. The shape is perhaps fitting for Valentine's Day. The Soul Nebula is officially designated IC 1871 and is visible on the lower left. Both nebulas shine brightly in the red light of energized hydrogen, one of three colors shown in this three-color montage. Light takes about 6,000 years to reach us from these nebulas, which together span roughly 300 light years. Studies of stars and clusters like those found in the Heart and Soul nebulas have focused on how massive stars form and how they affect their environment.

Feb 14th


Funding source for INSGC Fellowships, Internships; Research and Outreach Project funding for Higher Education, K-12, and Informal Education through INSGC affiliates.


Research funding available for undergraduates, graduates and faculty.


Collaboration opportunities with industries for internships and skill set training.


Funding for projects that create public awareness of INSGC and NASA.

Need Funding?

Browse through the opportunities we offer and apply today!


Indiana Space Grant Consortium supports K-12 education by offering space based resources to excite children about STEM and NASA education. You can find these resources below.

Educational Resources

Teacher Resources

Educational Programs


Higher Education

INSGC higher education affiliates throughout Indiana with eligible students, must be a US citizen, enrolled full-time as a collegiate student, be involved in STEM related research or STEM education project, are eligible to apply for scholarship/fellowship.


Beginning in 2020, INSGC no longer offers UG Scholarships. Instead INSGC offers Undergraduate Research Internships.

Students will not directly apply for this funding from INSGC. Faculty members (PI) who are supervising a research activity will apply for the award for the number of students planning to participate in the project. UG students will be paid an hourly rate for research.



Fellowships, Masters/Ph.D are available for graduate students pursuing research projects with any INSGC affiliate. New for 2020, applicants must specify a NASA Center and/or a Mission Directorate alignment.


Research awarded to be conducted by faculty who submit project proposals that help NASA achieve national research objectives

New for 2020. All proposals must specify a NASA Center and/or Mission Directorate with which it is aligned.

Informal Education

Information, resources, and funding for Professional Development for informal educators relating to science, technology, engineering, and math.


INSGC outreach affiliates may apply for grant funding that engages K-12 students in STEM curriculum and hands-on learning.

New for 2020. All proposals must specify a NASA Center and/or Mission Directorate with which it is aligned.

View our Academic pages for more information.

Looking For Career Opportunities?

INSGC currently has a career page with information 

and a few valuable resources!

The INSGC twitter page is linked above. There will also be a link to our INSGC Facebook page shortly.

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