Innovation Gateway Challenge, presented by BHP

Design and Build Distortion Goggles

Be part of the NASA mission. Compete in a new series of challenges through our Innovation Gateway, a community science initiative. Everyday explorers – just like you – have the opportunity to provide useful solutions to further space exploration and our world.

In this challenge, you will design and create your own distortion goggles.

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With support from

The Balance of the Body

The human body is a complex system of many individual parts working together to maintain your health and equilibrium. When changes occur in the surrounding environment, our bodies do an incredible job of adapting. Sometimes, adaptations happen over many generations. Other times, the body is able to adapt to new environmental factors in a matter of days or even hours. This has allowed human beings to survive on nearly all ecosystems on the surface of the Earth.

NASA’s Research on the Body

NASA spends a significant amount of time studying how the human body reacts to being in space. In fact, there is an entire department within NASA that focuses on Human Health and Performance. Through these studies conducted in microgravity, we have learned that an astronaut’s vestibular system (which impacts balance) receives conflicting messages from its sensors, such as our eyes and structures in our ears on which we typically rely. This can create space sickness, a condition much like vertigo. But after a brief period in space, the body can adapt.


Everyone who submits an entry for this challenge will receive a certificate of completion. Challenge winners can select from two general admission tickets to Space Center Houston or asking a question to an astronaut during our Virtual Campout program.


Level 1: Level 1: Design and create a pair of distortion goggles from household items.

Level 2: Design and create a pair of distortion goggles from household items and an obstacle course someone walks through while wearing the goggles. (Be sure to ensure the safety of the goggle user while walking through the obstacle course.)

Helpful hints for all levels:

  • Explore the resources provided below to find many answers to your questions about distortion goggles, including an Exploratorium Distortion Goggle activity.
  • Using handheld mirrors can act as a good replacement for lenses
  • Work with family and friends to develop your system.
  • Submit your entry by using the submission form on this webpage.
  • Be creative!


Level 1: Submit two pictures of your distortion goggles.

  • A full picture of your distortion goggles.
  • A picture of someone wearing your distortion goggles.

Level 2: Submit three pictures and a short video of your distortion goggles and obstacle course.

  • A full picture of your distortion goggles.
  • A picture of someone wearing your distortion goggles.
  • A picture of your obstacle course.
  • A video under 10 seconds of someone attempting your obstacle course while wearing the distortion goggles.

Entries must be submitted before 7 p.m. CT June 30 using the submission form on this webpage.

Resources & inspiration

Virtual Campout

Register for our June 5 Virtual Campout to get a step-by-step demonstration of how to build your own pair of distortion goggles using household materials. Virtual Campouts are offered to anyone who would like to participate and are you-pay-what-you-can events.

Register now
To support your research, review these resources to help get you started.


Ages 17 & younger

Coming soon

Ages 18 & older

Coming soon

Submission Form

Participant first name*

Participant last name*

Participant age*

If you would like to receive challenge updates, please provide your email address:

Submission level*

Photo 1*

Photo 2*

Photo 3

10-second video

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With support from

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