Reno kicks off 2017 Space Apps effort with fundraiser

Supporters can donate through Nevada’s Big Give on Mar. 23

Give at


RENO, Nev. (Mar. 23, 2017) – Space Apps Reno is now one of the important Nevada causes people can support when they donate money through Nevada’s Big Give, an annual charitable giving event taking place Thursday, March 23.

Through Space Apps Reno, local space enthusiasts with a wide variety of technical and business skills sets have been participating in NASA’s annual International Space Apps Challenge since 2013.  Project teams and volunteer staff work through the marathon 48-hour hackathon, sustained by donations of facilities, supplies and food.

“These generous in-kind donations made Space Apps Reno possible, but more formal fundraising is necessary as we continue to expand and tackle bigger challenges,” said Joe Chavez, president of STEAM Initiative, a Reno-based non-profit that runs the Space Apps Reno program.  “With activities like Nevada’s Big Give, NevadaGIVES is a great resource for Reno Space Apps and other worthy charitable causes in Nevada.”

People interested in supporting Space Apps Reno can make a tax-deductible donation through Nevada’s Big Give at  While the Nevada’s Big Give fundraising campaign is targeting March 23, donations can be made on any date.

Why choose Space Apps Reno?  According to the World Economic Forum, technology fields—such as engineering, computer science and mathematics—are the runaway leaders on the list of job families on the rise.

“The importance of technology-related entrepreneurship and job skills cannot be understated as we move into the Technology Renaissance,” says Chavez.  “Space Apps Reno and STEAM Initiative are working to ensure that the local economy and its residents become competitive players in the rapidly changing global economy.”

2017 Space Apps looms

Set for April 29-30, NASA’s International Space Apps Challenge is in its sixth year and has grown into the world’s largest hackathon.  At last year’s event, some 15,000 people gathered in 161 cities across 61 countries and developed more than 1,600 projects.  Some Space Apps projects turn into commercial products that launch new companies—one of the ultimate goals of the Space Apps Challenge.

NASA has chosen “Earth” for the theme of this year’s hackathon, and will be announcing specific challenges shortly.  Earth is a complex and dynamic system that still holds many mysteries, despite centuries of exploration and study.

NASA helps to shed some light on these mysteries by keeping Earth’s oceans, terrains, life and other components under constant scrutiny.  High-quality data collected from NASA’s unique vantage points will be available to Space Apps participants, whose projects will in turn help NASA discover more about Earth.

“Space Apps is not just about coders developing apps,” said Chavez.  “Teams are potential start-ups that can benefit from a wide variety of business skills, talents and ideas.  Anyone who is enthusiastic about the Space Apps mission can contribute.”

Individuals interested in participating in 2017 Space Apps Reno should register at NASA’s and contact Space Apps Reno at  Reno Collective, a key sponsor of Space Apps Reno, is hosting this year’s event in its offices at 100 N. Arlington St. in downtown Reno.

About NevadaGIVES

Nevada’s Big Give is an annual charity fundraising event of NevadaGIVES, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit.  Launched in 2003 as an initiative of the Business Community Investment Council and Nevada Community Foundation, NevadaGIVES’ mission is to raise awareness of and increase charitable giving in Nevada.  For more information about Nevada’s Big Give or other NevadaGIVES activities and resources, see

About STEAM Initiative and Space Apps Reno

Space Apps Reno is a program of STEAM Initiative, a Reno-based 501(c)(3) nonprofit dedicated to creating learning activities in the areas of Science, Technology, Engineering, Art and Mathematics.  These activities foster creative and analytical skills that are key components of the entrepreneurial mindset and critical to innovation in a global economy.  STEAM focuses on projected-oriented and goal-oriented learning, which the Space Apps Challenge hackathon exemplifies.  For more information, see

About International Space Apps Challenge

The annual International Space Apps Challenge hackathon was launched in 2012 as part of NASA’s innovation incubator program, and provides a forum for a two-way technology transfer.  NASA technology and data can be commercialized or otherwise applied on Earth, while real-world problems NASA still faces are crowdsourced to Space Apps participants.  For more information, see



Save the Date: Space Apps Reno 2017

Space Apps Reno is part of a global hackathon that is organized by NASA as part of the International Space Apps Challenge.  April 28th-April 30th, 2017 the City of Reno will participate for the fifth year in this global event. The event is free to participants and we rely on donations from local government and businesses to support the engineers, designers, inventors and other collaborators from the community during the two-day event.  Below are the available sponsorship packages and corresponding benefit to the sponsor.

Win a ticket to @SWEReno 2016!

The hardest part of starting up is starting out. At Startup Weekend, you’ll be immersed in the ideal environment for startup magic to happen

Startup Weekend is a 54-hour event where developers, designers, and business development folks come together to pitch an idea and launch a business, all in one weekend. It is a great opportunity to test startup ideas, meet potential co-founders, build the community in Reno and launch your next startup!

More about the event here:

Complete the questions below, submissions close at 12pm on Thursday, November 17th.
Create your own user feedback survey

Join Our STEAM TEAM in the Race for the Cure

Be a part of the STEAM Initiative and join our STEAM TEAM in the Fight Against Breast Cancer.

The STEAM Initiative is a non-profit organization which promotes education and community betterment by engaging individuals involved in STEM/STEAM fields of science, technology, engineering, art and math. Susan G Komen is just one of the causes we plan to support.

DATE: October 16, 2016

TIME: Race site open at 6:30 a.m.

PLACE: Downtown Reno | Reno City Plaza | 10 N Virginia St

Get involved. Dress up on race day. Have fun while helping a great local cause!

Anyone can join!


Call To Artists

Space Apps Reno is seeking a poster design for the 2016 Space Apps Reno Hackathon taking place on April 23-24 in Reno, NV.

Application Deadline: March 11, 2016

Application Guidelines

  • Include name & contact information
  • Sample portfolio: 2 images via e-mail or link to online portfolio
  • Brief artist statement

E-mail applications to: [email protected]

Selection Process

One artist will be selected and notified by March 17, 2016 to design the poster. The final poster design will be completed by April 8, 2016. The selected artist will be given an honorarium upon delivery of the finished poster, which will also be exposed to a global audience. While the poster is specifically for Space Apps Reno, last year’s NASA Space Apps Challenge spanned 133 cities in 62 countries with a total of 13974 participants.  So use your creativity and artistry to illustrate Reno’s participation in the world’s largest hackathon, and add a great piece to your portfolio!

Press Release–Poster Design Contest

2016 Call to Artist – Poster

Hour of Code

STEAM Initiative is a proud to sponsor the Hour of Code at Damonte Ranch High School on December 9, 2015.

Star Wars is all the rage. However, the computer science behind it often remains a mystery to students, preventing them from entering lucrative, high-demand careers in the field. Now, Damonte Ranch High School is using “The Force” to shed some light on the “Dark Side” of computer science. On December 9th, students, staff and even the principal will dress up in Star Wars outfits as part of the nation-wide Hour of Code event and slay the mysterious word of computer coding. No, it doesn’t take a Yoda to do it either.

“Hour of Code convinces students that they can do this,” says Ms. Lombardi, Career and Technical Education Teacher at DRHS. “Typical comments are, ‘that was cool,’ ‘I never thought I could do it.’ It turns out, anyone can learn to code and we ARE teaching them how.”

Student work from DRHS Computer Science I, created with Microsoft’s Touch Develop platform, will also be highlighted. This program is sponsored by the Future Business Leaders of America (FBLA), GirlMade, STEAM Initiative, Women Into Computer Science & Engineering (WICSE), Indoff Material Handling, and Silicon Valley Power Amplifier Corp. Media interested in the event should call Ms. Lombardi to RSVP and mark your calendars for this fun-filled, cutting-edge, career-oriented event.

HoC flyer _final

STEAM Initiative is providing one CanaKit Raspberry Pi 2 (1GB) Ultimate Starter Kit + a 1 hour one-on-one tutorial session on getting started with the Internet of Things.

Our next camp is Remote Controlled Car for ages 13-17 at TMCC. Sign-up today!

Your children will gain an understanding of electronics and programming as they work with computer boards to control toy cars with smartphones, tablets and laptops. Through hands-on projects, they’ll explore the Internet of Things, a concept that enables new ways of interacting with our environment through technology. After they learn hardware and software basics, they’ll program the car, which will be theirs to take home upon the conclusion of class.

Join our mailing list to stay informed of future STEAM Initiative Events and Workshops

STEAM Initiative @ Reno Mini Maker Faire

Come to the Maker Faire Reno on May 30, 2015 near the Innovation Center, The Discovery, and the South Side School  from 10am-6pm.

Click here for tickets



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Nodeschool Reno

Nodeschool consists of in-person workshops that are free & open to the public.


Mentors will be available to help lead and teach students through a series of challenges designed to teach the fundamentals of web development and the javascript programming language.

All ages and experience levels welcome.

More info here:

Nodeschool Reno is just one of the many chapters of