The USRA STEMaction center is an 18,000 square foot facility at Universities Space Research Association's Headquarters in Columbia, Maryland. The center is dedicated to providing a space for student opportunities in STEM with a special focus on robotics.

Our vision is to act as an innovation hub - hosting multiple inspirational, educational and accessible STEM and workforce development programs catering to a diverse community. Our scope is throughout Maryland, with a special focus on Howard County in proximity to USRA's headquarters in Columbia, and reaching through the greater Baltimore-Washington region.

We are always working to add more opportunities and cool things for the community!.

Currently the facility features the following:

  • A full size FIRST Robotics Competition Field
  • Two FIRST Tech Challenge Competition Fields with current game elements
  • LEGO Engineering Exploration Station
  • Open Classroom
  • Informal Presentation/Meeting Space

All of the above are available for use by robotics teams or organizations utilizing the space to advance STEM opportunities for students.

If you're interested - Click here to make a request here!

How to Get Involved:

While USRA employees work to manage and staff the STEMAction center, all of our programs are fueled and most heavily supported by volunteers and outside organizations.

If you're as excited as we are about empowering the next generation and future workforce through STEM opportunities, there are a two big ways to get involved:

  1. Volunteers are needed at events of all types. Our volunteers come from diverse backgrounds and fill all sorts of roles - both technical and non-technical. Learn more about volunteering at this page.
  2. Sponsors provide the funding and in-kind resources that make our programs possible. If you or your organization are interested in sponsorship, find out more at this page.

Volunteers

Our biggest need for volunteer opportunities is at one-day robotics events that run from December - June.

For FIRST LEGO League Junior: Events - called "FLL Jr. Expos" are scheduled starting in December and continue through the end of the school year. These events can occur in conjunction with other robotics events or on their own. The expos typically take place on a Saturday on Sunday and last approximately 2-3 hours. The biggest volunteer need at an expo is for what's called an "Expo Reviewer." The role of the reviewer is to spend time with each group of students asking questions about the projects, robots, and team activities. The main goal is to learn about what the students have done while having fun and making them feel important!

Our calendar of events for FLL Jr. is currently being updated - the best place to check right now is at the FIRST website: Click here for the calendar.

FIRST Tech Challenge competitions are scheduled from December-March and take place on Saturdays and Sundays. There are a number of volunteer needs at these events - but our biggest needs are always for judges (no technical knowledge required! 8 hours on event day + up to 4 hours of training beforehand). There are less intense roles available as well.

Questions about volunteering with STEMaction events can be directed to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Sponsors

USRA is a non-profit organization. For individuals, any donations made to support our programs are tax-deductible!  We are also always open to accepting partnership and sponsorship proposals. To provide support via in-kind or fiscal sponsorship, please contact This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or call 410-740-6268

Recognizing the people and programs that make USRA STEMaction is important to us - you can view a current list of sponsorship levels here.