Host a 2025 NASA Space Apps Local Event!

Become a NASA Space Apps Local Lead and inspire innovation and problem solving in your community

NASA Space Apps Local Leads host NASA Space Apps Challenge Local Events. They are inclusive leaders of their local space and science communities who bring problem solvers and innovative thinkers together to solve real challenges on Earth and space! The 2024 Local Lead Application is now closed. Please fill out the 2025 Local Lead Interest Form to be notified when the 2025 Local Lead Application will open.

2025 Local Lead Interest Form


Local Leads play a critical role in the success of each year’s NASA International Space Apps Challenge by hosting Local Events.

Local Leads are responsible for participant recruitment, event planning, and coordination. As a Local Lead, you will also coordinate local sponsors, speakers, and community collaborations.

The NASA Space Apps Global Organizing (GO) Team guides Local Leads through the hackathon preparation process and will provide you the information and support you need to succeed.


Local Leads are approved on an individual basis and only one Local Lead is approved per location. Once approved, Local Leads must attend NASA Space Apps Challenge Global Planning Calls with hundreds of other Local Leads around the world. Global Planning Calls create an environment for Local Leads to learn new skills, network, and design inclusive events. Many Local Leads find new inspiration from others in different communities. We’ve seen Local Leads from opposite sides of the globe develop connections and learn from each other how to become stronger, more inclusive leaders in their communities!



Local Leads gain unique experiences while supporting NASA Space Apps. They have the opportunity to work with the NASA Space Apps GO Team, interact with NASA Challenge Authors, and network with a diverse global community of like-minded space and science thinkers, doers, and problem solvers.

IMG_0077_Photo courtesy LaceyYoung


Join the NASA Space Apps Global Community and work alongside NASA and its Space Agency Partners by becoming a Local Lead. The NASA Space Apps GO Team supports Local Leads and participants in 160+ countries and territories.

Host an Event
BA0A7050_Photo by LaceyYoung


As a Local Lead, you become a champion of the NASA Space Apps Challenge by recruiting members of your local community to participate in the annual NASA Space Apps Challenge hackathon event.

Space Apps Challenge_Antalya Turkey 3


Local Leads facilitate a positive experience for all local hackathon participants and are responsible for nominating top projects for Global Judging. While NASA Space Apps selects exceptional projects each year as Global Award Winners, Local Leads also often recognize notable teams and projects locally. If you are passionate about creating opportunity and highlighting your community, we encourage you to apply to become a Local Lead!


  • Coordinate Local Event logistics and sourcing, a venue, food, supplies, swag, and prizes. Local Leads should also consider accessibility and internet connectivity logistics.
  • Recruit others to help. Each Local Lead is responsible for assembling a support team to run their Local Event. Local Leads are also responsible for identifying local organizations, such as universities and businesses, to collaborate with to enrich the participant journey. Each Local Lead is responsible for their own collaborator outreach efforts (see additional details in the application).
  • Recruit participants from their community to join their Local Event.
  • Follow the NASA Space Apps Challenge branding guidelines.
  • Support participants through their entire hackathon journey and encourage project submission.
  • Recruit local judges and conduct local judging.


Before applying, make sure you understand the roles and responsibilities of a Local Lead. Review the evaluation criteria and ask yourself the following questions for consideration.

Evaluation Criteria for Local Leads:

  • There is no approved Returning Local Lead in the city you are applying for. If there is a returning Local Lead, your application will not be approved.
  • You demonstrate and clearly communicate your ability to run/host a NASA Space Apps Challenge Local Event.
  • You clearly communicate plans and ideas about how you will support and recruit participants.
  • You clearly communicate plans and ideas about how you will source/recruit supporting teammates, collaborators, and judges.
  • You clearly communicate that you are willing to commit time to organize an event, lead a support team, and support participants.
  • You accept the terms and conditions of serving as a Local Lead and commit to providing a professional and productive forum for all participants to engage in a robust exchange of ideas regarding the challenges.

Questions for Consideration:

Event Logistics
  1. Can I invest the time necessary to run my local event?
  2. What other important logistical elements should I consider to make my event a success such as venue, food, accessibility, and connectivity?
  3. Do I want to hold an in-person or virtual local event in my location? All participants engage in Space Apps Challenge activities at their own risk. NASA does not assume liability for Space Apps Local Events whether they be in-person gatherings or virtual local events.
Support Team

Can I source/recruit the partners, supporting teammates, Local Collaborators, and Local Judges needed to help make my local event possible?

Participant Recruitment
  1. How can I increase the number of participants in my event?
  2. How can I ensure participants successfully submit projects?