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Design and Build your own distortion goggles


This challenge is no longer active and has been completed. Submissions are no longer being accepted.

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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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!


This challenge is no longer active and has been completed. Submissions are no longer being accepted.

Resources & Inspiration:

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

Challenge Winners

Ages 17 & younger

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Ages 18 & older

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Know a talented student age 15-17?

Have them apply to Rise! Rise is a program that offers students access to scholarships, mentorship, networking and career development opportunities, fostering their ability to address pressing global challenges.

Rise Initiative is a partner of the Conrad Challenge at Space Center Houston.

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Access to this all-ages festival is included in general admission.