Frequently Asked Questions

About Junior Astronauts

1. How did this campaign come about?

The Canadian Space Agency (CSA) has always reached out to youth through presentations, videos, events and exhibitions.

As part of Canada's participation in Lunar Gateway the CSA aims to engage young Canadians, to get them excited about future careers in the space field, and to help them understand how they can play a role in Canada's mission to the Moon. The space-themed campaign will make learning science fun and engaging.

2. Who can participate?

Through Junior Astronauts, the CSA provides accessible online content and learning games for young Canadians from kindergarten to Grade 12, educators, parents and youth organizations.

There are also structured activities for grades 6 through 9 based on three streams – science and technology, fitness and nutrition, and teamwork and communications for kids with varying interests. Registration is required to access the activities. You can also subscribe to our email list for important updates.

The summer camp is not open to employees of the CSA, immediate family members of employees, or persons living under the same roof as an employee.

3. My children are homeschooled. Can they participate in any of the activities?

Parents wishing to run the activities at home with their children (including those who are homeschooled) and organizations that cater to youth outside the targeted group can still register to receive the activities. However, they will not be eligible to apply for an astronaut and/or space expert visit.

4. How does the Junior Astronauts campaign work?

Structured activities focused on three streams – science and technology, fitness and nutrition, and teamwork and communication – are available to schools and youth organizations catering to young Canadians in grades 6 through 9 (grade 6 through secondary 3 in Quebec).

Schools/organizations participating in at least one activity in any stream and meeting the other requirements will be eligible to be selected randomly to win a visit from an astronaut or a space expert in spring . Schools/organizations in every province and territory will be selected. The more streams an organization participates in, the more chances they will have (up to three).

There will also be a national contest for youth who participated in all three streams. They will be required to register and provide a video explaining why they would be the best Junior Astronaut candidate. Four young applicants from every province and territory will be selected randomly to take part in a camp in summer , at the CSA's headquarters in Saint-Hubert, Quebec. During the camp, they will get to meet some of our astronauts, engineers and scientists!

Accessible online content and learning games are available as well for young Canadians from kindergarten to Grade 12, educators, parents and youth organizations, including a fun astronaut game for younger children that was launched during David Saint-Jacques' space mission.

5.What kinds of activities are offered?

Accessible online content and learning games are available to young Canadians, educators, parents and youth organizations, including Mission: Astronaut, a fun game for younger children that was launched during David Saint-Jacques' space mission.

Structured activities are offered based on three streams for kids with varying interests: science and technology, fitness and nutrition, and communications and teamwork

Designed to be run in schools or youth organizations, these activities are:

  • curriculum-friendly: all proposed activities have been designed to build skills targeted in existing curricula from across the country.
  • free to download, low cost to run: little to no materials required.
  • customizable: select all activities from all streams, or just a few – you choose!
  • adaptable: activities can be tailored to a range of group sizes and ability levels.
  • linked to astronaut missions: get youth excited about their future in science, technology, engineering, and math through space – a universe of possibilities awaits!
  • and beyond: encourage your youngsters to strengthen cross-curricular competencies with fun, interactive ways to highlight the importance of healthy living and team-building skills.
6. Will the stream activities be complex?

The stream activities will be age appropriate. You don't need to be a straight-A student to complete the activities!

7. Will the stream activities be based on school curriculum?

The stream activities will not be curriculum-based per se, but where available, links will be provided so that teachers can connect the activities to the curriculum if they wish.

8. What if a young Canadian wants to take part in Junior Astronauts, but his or her school is not participating?

Junior Astronauts will be offered not only to schools, but also to youth organizations such as Scouts, Girl Guides and science centres. A map of participating schools and organizations is available on the CSA website to help young Canadians find a local group to join. The map will be updated throughout the campaign, so visit often!

9. What if a school does not have the resources to participate?

Junior Astronauts is meant to be inclusive, accessible, relatable and easily available to all young Canadians. Therefore, if a school or youth organization does not have the resources to participate in the full stream activities, they can still explore the online activities and content, which will be fun, accessible, and easily available to all young Canadians, from kindergarten to Grade 12, no matter where they live.

Educators can also enter a random draw to win a visit from an astronaut or a space expert. All they will need to do is complete at least one of the streams and meet a few other requirements.

10. Do youth/educators/schools/youth organizations have to register?

Teachers, educators and youth group leaders are required to register on the Junior Astronauts portal to access and run the activities with their group. From to , they will be able to enter a random draw to win a visit from an astronaut or a space expert, provided they facilitate at least one activity from any of the three streams: science and technology, fitness and nutrition, and teamwork and communication.

A parent or legal guardian of youth in grades 6 through 9 who participated in all three streams and wish to apply for the Junior Astronaut recruitment will be required to register between and , and provide a video explaining why they would be the best Junior Astronaut candidate. Four young applicants from every province and territory will be selected randomly to take part in the Junior Astronaut camp in summer , at the CSA's headquarters in Saint-Hubert, Quebec.

Online content and learning games are also available at no cost on the CSA website to all young Canadians from kindergarten to Grade 12, educators, parents and youth organizations. These don't require registration.

How to participate

1. How can young Canadians participate in the summer camp?

Youth interested in participating in the Junior Astronauts training camp need to take part in the Junior Astronaut recruitment by:

  1. Having a parent or guardian register online to create a profile (from to ).
  2. Participating in at least one activity in each of the three streams (science and technology, fitness and nutrition, and teamwork and communication).
  3. Submitting a one- to two-minute video in which they talk a bit about a provided space topic and explain why they would be a good Junior Astronaut candidate, as set out in the camp Terms and Conditions.
2.Who is eligible for the Junior Astronaut Recruitment and camp?

The contest is open to any young Canadian citizen or permanent resident who is enrolled in grade 6 through 9 (grade 6 through secondary 3 in Quebec) in the school year at a school (be it a public, private, parochial, or home school) located in Canada.

NOTE: The Junior Astronaut Recruitment and camp are not open to employees of the CSA, immediate family members of employees or persons living under the same roof as an employee.

3. Why do parents have to grant permission for children to enter?

In compliance with the recommendations provided by the Office of the Privacy Commission of Canada on collection of data from youth, parental/guardian consent is needed for any person under the age of 13 and is recommended for any person under the age of 18 to give personal information to a third party over the Internet. In the case of our contest, each child's parent or guardian needs to grant consent for us to receive their entry.

4. Can the kids enter as pairs or teams?

Only individual submissions will be accepted.

5. Are there rules and guidelines about how to make a video?

Please follow the video requirements contained in the Terms and Conditions for each contest.

6. How do I submit a video?

Consult the Terms and Conditions to learn how to submit your video.

7. Can submitted videos be updated? Visits contest

Educators who apply to win a visit from an astronaut or a space expert for their school or organization will not be able to update their video since the registration process is done in a single step and it is impossible to resubmit an application.

Junior Astronauts recruitment

A parent or legal guardian who registers their child to win a spot in the Junior Astronauts camp can log into their account and make changes to the entry package until the contest closes on at 11:59 p.m. PT.

Prizes

1. What can I win by participating in Junior Astronauts?

A visit from an astronaut or a space expert (for educators)

One visit for each stream, per province and territory, will be awarded through a random draw. The CSA will provide each winner with an in-person visit, at no cost, from a CSA astronaut or space expert to their organization by the end of the school year. See the Terms and Conditions for all the details.

A spot in the Junior Astronaut Camp (for young Canadians)

Four applicants per province and territory will be selected through a random draw. The CSA will provide each winner with:

  • Economy travel, as well as accommodations and meals, for the winner to join youth from across the country, Canadian astronauts and space experts for the Junior Astronaut Camp in Saint-Hubert, Quebec, to take place in summer . The detailed camp program will be shared in early .

See the Terms and Conditions for all the details.

Winner selection

1. How will the winners be selected?

The winners of both contests will be selected by means of a random draw from all eligible applicants. The eligibility criteria are described in the Terms and Conditions.

2. How are videos judged?

Videos will not be judged. They will be verified for required content, appropriateness and compliance with the Terms and Conditions for the specified challenge.

3. When and how will selected participants and organizations find out that they have won?

Participants will be contacted via phone and/or email in if they are selected for the summer camp.

Organizations will be contacted via phone and/or email by the end of if they are selected for a visit from an astronaut or space expert.

Miscellaneous

1. I have a question that is not addressed here. Who can I contact?

Contact us at asc.astronautesjuniors-juniorastronauts.csa@canada.ca.

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