Welcome to 2019 Race to Space Contest

Have you ever dreamed of being an astronaut? Your passion for science, math and English can help make your dream come true!

Submit a 3 min (max) creative and fun video of yourself explaining a scientific concept in a simplified and new way (in English)

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Win one of twelve (12) full scholarships to NASA Space Camp.
Space Camp is an amazing place to help expand young people’s interests and to motivate youth to work hard toward their dreams. The Race2space contest makes Space Camp possible for young people who have aptitude in STEM and science communication but do not have the resources to attend Space Camp.

In addition the full scholarship to Space camp you will win a cultural trip to Washington, DC.

Our contest provides 100% funding. All costs will be paid by the U.S. Department of State.

To apply you will need to first verify that you reach the following qualifications*:

  • Moroccan citizen residing in Morocco.
  • Born between July 1, 2001 and June 30, 2004
  • Student of high school (Common Core, ‎First Baccalaureate or Second Baccalaureate).
  • 14/20 Average on most recent transcript, including strong grades in science and mathematics.
  • Demonstrated interest and aptitude in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Math) inside and outside the classroom.
  • Strong English language skills: The program is conducted entirely in English.
  • Be available during the travel period.

*: All participants must strictly meet these requirements.

Don’t miss the experience of a Lifetime

How to make a good video?

We are looking for students who can tell nature’s story in a way that grips up. Here are some tips to follow

Topic choice

  • Pick a topic that you have spent a lot of time studying.
  • Avoid frequently chosen topics to be more unique (these include: Black holes, Dark matter, Quantum physics, Why the sky is blue, Theory of relativity, etc. ).
  • Avoid topics that you can’t answer most people’s questions about.

Writing your video

  • Plagiarism is strictly not allowed.
  • Address questions and perspectives that are intriguing. No one likes boring texts/videos
  • Build a clear structure of your video script.
  • Make sure you don’t end the video abruptly. The end should leave the viewer with a “ Wow! That’s cool!” feeling.
  • Double check the accuracy of your scientific content
  • Science is an experimental discipline. Unlike previous editions: It is mandatory to perform an experiment, a demonstration or a simulation. Even abstract maths can be explained using experiments or other practical illustrations. Be creative and think outside of the box!

Filming and editing your video

  • Plan and test before shooting your final video.
  • Audio should be your top priority. Make sure the audio is as clear as possible and avoid loud background music.
  • Make sure your English is well articulated. We need to hear and understand every word.
  • Don’t be distracted and look straight into the camera. Talk to the camera as if you were explaining to a public in front of you who has no idea about your topic.
  • Animations and video effects can be powerful to help you illustrate your topic to the audience. Use them if you can as explanation tools. But if you don't have the tools or expertise, it is OK: find other new ways to illustrate your ideas. This is not an animated graphics competition, this is an "Explain Science" competition.

Video Tutorial


Your journey to win Race2space and go to Space Camp starts here with these milestones. Please take note of them!

Dec 12th, 2018
RACE2SPACE 1st Announcement
Dec 16th, 2018
Application period starts
Jan 19th, 2019
Application deadline.
  • You must submit your video no later than Jan 19 at 11:59 PM (Casablanca Time).
Jan 20th - March 9th
Pre-selection & Jury Review
  • Pre-selection & Jury review of all the applications based on a defined set of criteria
March 10th
Online voting and peer-review start
March 31st
Online voting & peer-review end
  • Online voting & peer-review evaluation end at 11:00 AM GMT+1 (Casablanca Time)
April 3rd
Announcing the Finalists
April 9th
Announcing the Winners
Travelling dates


Meet the jury members. Click on the picture to read the bio

Prof. Mohamed Eddaoudi

Prof. Mohamed Eddaoudi

Prof. Mohamed Eddaoudi is a Distinguished Professor of Chemical Science, and Director of the Advanced Membranes and Porous Materials Center at King Abdullah University of Science and Technology (KAUST). Prof. Eddaoudi received his master's and doctorate in Chemistry from Denis Diderot University (Paris VII) in Paris, France. Prof. Eddaoudi is a member of the American Chemical Society. He received the Outstanding Faculty Research Achievement Award (2004 and 2007) and the Chemistry Outstanding Teaching Award (2005 and 2008) from the University of South Florida. He was awarded the prestigious National Science Foundation Career Award in 2006. Prof. Eddaoudi has given more than 150 invited talks at conferences and universities since 2002. Prof. Eddaoudi was selected in 2014, 2015, 2016, 2017, 2018 as Thomson Reuters Highly Cited Researchers and world’s most influential scientific minds (2014). His contribution to the field of metal-organic frameworks (MOFs) has been highly visible in peer-reviewed journals, as evidenced through his recognition by ISI in 2007 as one of the top 100 most cited chemists of the past 10 years.

Dr. Dalal Najib

Dr. Dalal Najib

Dr. Dalal Najib is the Team Lead for science and engineering capacity building at the Policy and Global Affairs (PGA) Division of the U.S. National Academies of Sciences, Engineering and Medicine. She is the program director for the Arab-American Frontiers program of Science, Engineering and Medicine at NASEM in partnership with MENA based S&T institutions. She also works on the PEER (Partnership for Enhanced engagement in Research) program where she oversees the MENA (Middle East and North Africa) and Central Asia regions portfolios. Dr. Najib first joined the National Academies as a Mirzayan Science and Technology policy fellow at the Aeronautics and Space Engineering Board (ASEB). She holds a PhD in space physics and engineering from University of Michigan, under the NASA Earth and Space Sciences Fellowship (NESSF).

Dr. Mohammed Makha

Dr. Mohammed Makha

Mohammed Makha received his PhD in physics from Angers University in France (2014). He worked as a postdoc at the laboratory of photovoltaic materials in Nantes University, then he joined the Swiss federal laboratories for materials science and technology as a scientific researcher from 2014 to 2017. His research interest is focused on the thin film materials for electronic applications. He recently got a specialized masters in technological innovation and project management, and he is currently working as a consultant in the field of innovation management and funding. Dr. Mohammed Makha joined Scientific Morocco initiative in 2015. He was the president of the jury for “Morocco Science Awards - Best scientific paper “, an event we organized in 2015. He authored and co-authored more than 30 scientific papers on materials for energy applications.



Najib is a Moroccan Science communicator, 2016's Web "Personality of the Year" and IT consultant. He was fascinated by the universe and astronomy since his childhood. « The stars attract you naturally. Since that time, the fascination and interest in the universe have never left me » he recalls. Najib will later study maths and sciences, obtain a degree in Telecoms from ENSTB school in France and work as an IT innovation consultant working with clients in over a dozen countries. Najib makes pop science videos in Moroccan on Youtube and blogs on his Facebook page about science.

Dr. Mohammed Khenfouch

Dr. Mohammed Khenfouch

Dr. Mohammed Khenfouch is a nanomaterials scientist and professional Physicist. His interest in this field took flight during his MSc studies (Master in physics of materials and nanostructures) and has persisted till now, after he completed his PhD studies in July 2013, in the group of polymers and nanomaterials of the USMBA with a thesis titled: Elaboration and Physical and chemical studies of Graphene based nanocomposites for optoelectronic applications. His PhD study involved nanocomposites and devices for energy and optoelectronic applications inc. Solar cells, LEDs and Gas sensors. His active involvement in nanoscience research has helped him to gain a broad level of expertise and knowledge in materials science, especially in nanocharacterization and nanofabrication techniques with a deep practice in the fields of energy efficiency and nuclear waste management. In an attempt to take part in the fascinating nanoworld, and to contribute to its ambitious challenges, Mohammed undertook a postdoctoral position within the UNESCO-UNISA AFRICA Chair in Nanosciences and Nanotechnology at the College of science, engineering and technology of the University of South Africa.


Meet the Ground Control team

El Hassan Bouaghad
Contest Director
Dr Lahoucine Atourki
Pre-Selection Panel
Zakaria Bendaia
Pre-Selection Panel
Nabil Radouane
Pre-Selection Panel
Houssam Kharbouchi
Pre-Selection Panel
Mohamed Ait Bihi
Pre-Selection Panel
Mehdi Bendahis
The Tech Guy


Scientific Morocco
US Embassy Rabat