This past weekend, high school students from all over the country gathered at California's NASA Ames Research Center to meet their brilliant peers, present their groundbreaking research -- and chat with interested venture capitalists on the side.
The potential investors hovering in the background are one indication that the Conrad Spirit of Innovation Awards Summit, founded in honor of former astronaut Pete Conrad, isn't your average science fair. Instead of just trophies, winners are presented with grant money they can use to turn their projects into commercial reality (top winners in each category receive $5,000; all finalists receive $1,000 in matching grants).
This year's competition included entries in four different categories: Aerospace, Renewable Energy, Green Building, and Space Nutrition. Here are the grand prize winners.
Grand Prize Winner, Aerospace: Falcon Robotics
After honing their 'bot-building skills at the National Underwater Robotics Challenge, the robotics club at Carl Hayden Community High School in Phoenix, AZ decided to up the ante by designing a robot to assist astronauts. Dubbed an EVROV (extra-vehicular remotely operated vehicle), the robot is equipped with a 3-D vision system that gives it two staggered views of its surroundings, offering the human operator greater depth perception that could come in handy for tasks like inspecting space installations or making repairs. "It's docked outside the spacecraft," team member John Harris says. "If there are any problems, you can go out there without an astronaut."
This is 3D!?
I have gotta have this!
These people are in high school?! I'm humbled and optimistic about the next generation of researchers!
SAME! It's so awesome. eye <3 the future.
www.freebord.com/ride <-- Snowboard the Streets!
Kudos on the idea, Javier Fernandez-Han, but they've been used for a while. They're called "air wells".
Don't give up though, it's a good idea. Maybe you can make it better. ;)
I was in this competition; the space nutrition category. We were finalists. The competition just ended last week over the weekend. The winners were announced on Saturday at the NASA Ames Research Center. I think we got second place. They only announced first place, but we are certain we were very close to winning. There were tons of interesting speakers there. For example, Richard Garriott, an astronaut who is the pioneer in the commercial space industry.
If you are interested in any of our ideas and want to help out our team make these exciting concept into a reality feel free to email me. My email address is firstname.lastname@example.org.
Thank you for your responses,