As Thanksgiving week begins and the winter holiday break follows close behind, millions of kids across America will be gearing up for late movie nights and marathon video game sessions. But a select few 6th ~ 12th graders will be be spending their breaks working on designing my future home in space.
Each year NASA Ames and the National Space Society, hold the Space Settlement Contest. Designed to inspire the next generation of engineers, architects, and scientists, the contest asks a simple question: If you were to create an environment for humans to live in off planet, how would you design it?
And while the question is simple, the expectations of NASA Ames and NSS are very high. Submitters are encouraged to describe in detail a settlement’s structure, agriculture, power, social system, government, and feasibility among other things. Supporting material can include videos, 3d diagrams, and artwork.
If you have a space geek just itching to tell the world about their ideas, they can enter as individuals or as a part of a group (small up to six people, large is seven or more). And awards are given out in the the age brackets of 6th – 8th grade, 7th – 9th grade, and 10th – 12th grade. So there is plenty of room for achievement. Also, there is a chance to win the grand prize.
Judging by one of last year’s grand prize winners, the review panel will be expecting a thorough and comprehensive design.
If you have not started putting your concepts to paper, then time is wasting. Entries for the 2010 competition are due without exception on March 31, 2010.
Image copyright Alexander Preuss, 2008 winner of the National Space Society’s settlement calendar art contest.