Cryptic Cyborgs Compete in Young Astronaut Day

Northwest State Community College’s Cryptic Cyborgs, a FIRST robotics team, competed in the Young Astronaut Day at the NASA Glenn Research Center in Cleveland Ohio on November 3, 2018. The team was chosen from a lottery selection to attend the event where they participated in hands-on engineering activities.

The team earned a third place finish in the Commander Grand Challenge Division. The challenge was with designing a Mars rover, which required a parachute design and programming a LEGO Mindstorm robot rover. 

The Cryptic Cyborgs team is made up of local high school students in grades 9-12, competing in the FIRST robotics program. The NSCC team has over 40 students involved and is recruiting students for the 2019 competition season, which kicks off on January 5. To join the team contact Jim Drewes at 419.267.1439 or email

About the Competition
Young Astronaut Day is a STEM outreach event for students in grades 1-12.  Every year since 1992, NASA Glenn Research Center in Cleveland, Ohio, hosts students to compete in hands-on activities related to engineering problem solving. These range from pasta towers to LEGO robots. The activities vary from year to year and all have an aerospace theme. Ribbons are awarded to the top three teams of each activity. During the day, the students also engage in the ‘Canstruction®’ community service activity.  In partnership with Herschman Architects, the students assemble an aerospace themed structure (like the space shuttle or Curiosity rover) out of donated canned foods. The day-long activity includes a presentation from a NASA astronaut and a STEM competition.