Contact Us:

Shelley Spears
Director, Education & Outreach

Shannon Verstynen
Outreach Program Manager

NIA Universe

NIA Universe

Hosted by the National Institute of Aerospace, the NIA Universe is a unique collection of virtual worlds designed to explore and create science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) content and experiences.

Using exciting Internet gaming and chat technology, NIA Universe is an interactive, synchronous environment that brings together students, teachers, and experts for collaborative, virtual interactions in an online world. NIA’s Universe is filled with digital worlds created by and for K-12 schools, universities, NASA, and NIA partners to build and explore content and knowledge spaces without barriers of time or distance.

Users from anywhere on the Internet (even outer space) can log in, become virtual beings (avatars) and explore our virtual spaces through collaborative, constructivist activities.

These interactive, social environments engage students and adults in formal and informal educational settings.  As a tool for collaborative and virtual interactions, this environment can be used for both synchronous and asynchronous activities.

Download the browser and explore NIA Universe as a tourist!

RealWorld-InWorld NASA Engineering Design Challenge

The RealWorld-InWorld NASA Engineering Design Challenge encourages students in grades 9-12 to explore and to build skills essential for successful careers in science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) through two phases of project-based learning and team competition.

To learn more, visit



100 Exploration Way
Hampton, VA 23666