Space Center Houston Partners with Conrad Foundation on Global STEM

Entrepreneurship Competition for High School Students

The longstanding Conrad Challenge adds to Space Center Houston’s education programs

HOUSTON, TXSpace Center Houston and the Conrad Foundation (Foundation) today announced a new partnership to expand the reach and impact of the annual Conrad Challenge (Challenge) at the annual Space Exploration Educators Conference (SEEC). The Foundation’s global STEM and entrepreneurship competition for high school students provides a new dynamic program to Space Center Houston’s robust educational offerings for 8th-12th grade students.   

“Space Center Houston is honored to carry the torch forward of the Conrad Challenge in partnership with the Conrad Foundation,” said William T. Harris, CEO and president of Space Center Houston. “We are inspired by the work of Nancy Conrad, a transformative space education leader promoting STEM skills and innovation. We will continue to keep her vision alive by bringing people and space closer together.” 

Founded by Nancy Conrad, wife of the late Apollo 12 astronaut and third person to walk on the Moon, Pete Conrad, the Conrad Challenge was established to carry on Pete’s legacy of innovation and entrepreneurship. The competition’s annual Innovation Summit is the Finalist round, in which the season’s top teams compete to receive awards, access to scholarships and patent assistance to improve their innovations. The news of this partnership follows Friday’s announcement from the Conrad Challenge naming the 2022-2023 season Finalist teams who will share ideas, network and compete for the top honor of the “Pete Conrad Scholar” at Space Center Houston on April 12-15, 2023. Click here to meet the Finalist teams competing for the “Pete Conrad Scholar” title at this year’s Innovation Summit.

“After 17 years of equipping students to design a sustainable future, this partnership is an exciting step forward,” said Conrad. “Space Center Houston shares our passion for transforming education to foster the next generation of leaders. We are thrilled to work together to expand the Conrad Challenge.”  

During the 2022-2023 and 2023-2024 Challenge seasons, Space Center Houston and the Conrad Foundation will collaborate to develop an Advisory Committee under Space Center Houston’s leadership. The organizations aim for the Challenge to become a brand of Space Center Houston’s educational programs by the 2024-2025 season. 

Daniel Newmyer, vice president of education research and collections at Space Center Houston, sat down with Conrad during a “fireside chat” at SEEC to announce the partnership and discuss the importance of inspiring the next generation of the workforce by providing unique learning opportunities.

“We don’t know what the workforce is going to look like in five years,” said Conrad. “We’re creating a whole generation of agile thinkers – young people who not only can participate in what tomorrow looks like, but can also pivot in an ever-changing environment, because they understand how to think, how to learn, and how to work collaboratively.” 

Following transitions in the Conrad Foundation’s leadership, including Nick Costides, the Foundation’s new president of the board, Andy Steinem, treasurer of the board, and Laura Peter, secretary of the board, this partnership brings the Challenge full circle as Pete Conrad’s Apollo 12 lunar suit has stood on display at Space Center Houston since it opened in 1992. 

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About Space Center Houston

Space Center Houston’s shared purpose is to bring people and space closer together. Over 1.1 million visitors and more than 250,000 students and educators visit each year to connect with the significance of space exploration to pursue a path in STEM or follow along as incredible feats of human spaceflight continue to make new discoveries. Space Center Houston is owned by the Manned Space Flight Education 501(c)3 nonprofit organization and generates an annual

$118M economic impact to the Greater Houston area. Space Center Houston is a Smithsonian Affiliate, the Official Visitor Center of NASA Johnson Space Center and a Certified Autism Center. Learn more at  

About the Conrad Foundation

The Conrad Foundation is a nonprofit organization dedicated to promoting collaborative, studentcentered, real-world, relevant learning that fosters innovation and entrepreneurship. Through its programs, the Foundation unleashes students’ potential to create impactful solutions and a sustainable society for generations to come. For more information about the Conrad Foundation, its Challenge, or the 2022-2023 competition, visit

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