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Junior Scientists Competition Old Resources

These resources were all available on our Junior Scientists page before the competition ended. Now, we are hard at work with our Junior Scientists partner team, The Decomposers! Check out our old resources below, or see what we're up to now on our main Junior Scientists page!

The NoMADS Junior Scientists Competition provided a way for middle school students to get involved in real-world, hands-on, space science! Team Cooke put out a call for proposals for teams from New Hampshire middle school to come up with ideas for where we should collect the soil sample we're sending to space. One team was selected, and will have the opportunity to work closely with Team Cooke for the majority of the 2021-2022 school year, participating in meetings, activities, soil collection and analysis, and even have a control group setup at their school!

Junior Scientists Competition Introduction Video

Junior Scientists Competition Introduction Video

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Frequently Asked Questions

What exactly am I signing up for?

By committing to be a supervising teacher, you are agreeing that you will assemble a team of middle school students, and will work with them to submit a soil location proposal to Team Cooke. You are also agreeing that if your team is selected as the winning team, you will work with your student team through the entirety of the 2021-2022 school year.

The time commitment varies by the stage of the process. For September and October, you will be working with your team on their proposal. If selected, you and your team will meet with Team Cooke roughly every other week from the middle of November through May or June (however, there probably won't be many meetings through December). In addition, if chosen, you will be asked to accompany your team to collect the soil and on their visit(s) to UNH Manchester's lab. 

What do I need in order to compete?

There are 4 main requirements to compete:

  • A supervising teacher/adult

  • A team of 5-15 middle schoolers (if you would like to have a larger team, please contact us)

  • A location to meet within your team and with Team Cooke, both virtually and in person

  • A location to house a control experiment for the duration of the launch (30-45 days)

    • The control experiment will be about 10x10x15 centimeters

How should my team format our proposal submission?

If you have been in contact with Team Cooke about creating a team, you will receive a proposal guidelines document and a proposal template from Team Cooke. Your team can use the proposal template or format your own proposal - just make sure that all the information asked for is provided in written form. If your team would like to submit a video as well, please feel free! We would love to get to know your team! Your team should email all proposal materials to Team Cooke at by 5:00pm EST on October 29, 2021. 

How can I get my students interested?

Watch the Introduction Video above to learn about the competition requirements and get your students interested! If you or your class would like to schedule a virtual visit with Team Cooke to talk about your proposal or to ask questions, just let us know!

Still have questionsPlease email us at!

Updated Timeline
(as of August 26, 2021)


Proposal Guidelines PDF

To view our flyer, click the button below:

Helpful Resources about Soil

Proposal Template PDF and DOC

How to find GPS coordinates on a smartphone:

Soil Collection Resources

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