Beginning Aug. 22, teens are invited to “Get Your Genius On” in the Conrad Foundation’s Spirit of Innovation Challenge. This competition challenges students worldwide to create innovative products to benefit humanity.
The annual program is a multi-phase, business and technical plan competition, free and open to students ages 13 – 18 from around the world. Winning ideas receive more than $50,000 in prizes.
The Spirit of Innovation Challenge celebrates the life and entrepreneurial spirit of astronaut Pete Conrad, third man to walk on the Moon. The program challenges teens to work in teams of 2-5 students and use science, technology, engineering and math skills along with creativity, collaboration and entrepreneurship to develop innovative products and services to benefit humanity and address global sustainability.
The 2013-2014 categories include: Aerospace and Aviation, Cybertechnology and Security, Energy and Environment, and Health and Nutrition. Past projects developed by teams include unique water filtration devices, shielding technology for space vehicles and NASA-approved nutrition bars. In the last six years, more than 600 products have been conceptualized by students in the Spirit of Innovation Challenge.
Participation is free and begins by creating a profile at www.conradawards.org. Teams from afterschool programs, science clubs, homeschool organizations and charter schools are also encouraged to participate. Each team must have a teacher, parent or afterschool program coordinator serve as their coach. Deadline for the 2013-2014 one-page abstract qualification round is Oct. 24.
Selected semi-finalists in each challenge category advance to develop a business plan, technical plan and graphical representation of the team’s product or service. The top five teams from each category will travel to the Conrad Foundation’s annual Innovation Summit, hosted at NASA Johnson Space Center and Space Center Houston, April 10 – 12, 2014, where they present their innovations and vie for $10,000 awards and commercialization opportunities
To learn more about the 2013-2014 Spirit of Innovation Challenge, visit www.conradawards.org.
Gary Page, Information Technology Consultant
Career Tech Ed Leadership & Instructional Support Office
1430 N Street, Suite 4503
Sacramento, CA 95814