Subscribe free to our newsletters via your
. 24/7 Space News .




SPACE TRAVEL
Young Innovators Bring Creations to Life in NASA Goddard Spinoff Challenge
by Tashiana Osborne for Goddard Space Flight Center
Greenbelt MD (SPX) May 20, 2015


One of the NASA spinoff challenge teams, shown here in their virtual environment, designed a robotic arm that scans the human body and provides doctor's information on bone fractures.

Which of NASA's space-venturing creations would you like to see used on Earth? Are there ways to reinvent spacecraft technologies that could improve the lives of humans? Students across the country joined forces to answer these questions and ultimately design a virtual environment for showcasing ideas in the NASA Goddard OPTIMUS PRIME InWorld Spinoff Challenge.

NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Maryland, and the National Institute of Aerospace in Hampton, Va., hosted the final round of the InWorld Challenge April 30.

This year, the challenge had two components. The OPTIMUS PRIME Video Challenge asked elementary through high school students to produce a video highlighting their technology spinoff creations. The InWorld Challenge required sixth through 12th graders to use ideas generated by the Video Challenge to build a 3-D computer version of their designs.

"The challenge gets kids excited," OPTIMUS PRIME InWorld Program Manager Sharon Bowers said. "It lets kids understand that there is a process in engineering. It also asks students to think how they can explain ideas and thoughts to others by creating 3-D models."

This was the first year the OPTIMUS PRIME Video Challenge and the InWorld Challenge came together. NASA's Innovative Technology Partnership Office brought in the Video Challenge, while the National Institute of Aerospace backed the InWorld Challenge. The James Webb Space Telescope mission was instrumental in designing the InWorld component.

Judges announced winners of the OPTIMUS PRIME Video Challenge in April. During the InWorld Challenge phase of the competition, college engineering students mentored the teams of younger students and supplied technical information. "It was a great experience," said Zachary Cooper, Team 4 leader and Iowa State University aerospace engineering student.

Most groups consisted of students from different states, which added another element to the competition - challenging students to develop a well-structured design without ever meeting in person. For the majority of the students, this was their first experience working with computer models to create their own designs.

"We taught ourselves how to move around, build objects and create our own virtual world," Zack Lin from Team 5 said. "We are so grateful to have had the opportunity to compete."

Ultimately, Teams 2, 4 and 5 were selected for the final InWorld Challenge round, where students and mentors showed off their virtual creations to a panel of judges via Internet.

Final-round competitors prepared by formulating a business plan to sell their spinoff inventions to the judges. Each group guided evaluators through the virtual world they designed.

Competitors chose one of NASA's space technologies used in Webb telescope, the planned successor to the Hubble Space Telescope, to recreate as their own spinoff. Teams focused on how the technology could be used in a new way, but on Earth rather than in space. The challenge outline provided examples of existing Webb telescope spinoff creations. Students chose one of these innovations as inspiration for their own spinoff.

Existing Webb spinoff examples include telescope innovations for recording observations more quickly and more precisely when measuring intricate surfaces. These technologies help doctors and researchers improve accuracy in eye surgery and other medical procedures.

Another example involves advances in testing large telescope mirrors and other space hardware in cryogenic vacuum chambers, which are used to decrease the temperature and remove air from a closed compartment in order to test how hardware will function in space. These recent technologies involve interferometers, which focus on gaining information about the waves of an object in order to make sharper measurements.

All three of the final teams spinoff designs would lead to faster, more accurate measurements in order to improve observations and, ultimately, enhance the lives of humans in various ways.

Team 5 aimed to improve the speed and efficiency of military aircraft and submarine propeller blades using interferometers. Team 2 had a primary goal to make more accurate measurements of land surfaces to improve topographical maps by repurposing Webb technologies. Team 4 hoped to apply space innovations to surgical procedures by improving the accuracy of bone fracture scans.

Groups showcased their designs' applications to industry, daily life and to future technologies. Some factored in issues such as cost, manufacturing and environmental effects.

Judges included NASA scientists and engineers involved with Webb telescope, Spinoff Challenge coordinators and guests from the U.S. Patent Office.

Virtual worlds had to follow specific requirements in order remain in the game. First, teams were required to showcase their own version of the Webb Telescope along with a version of their chosen Webb spinoff.

The key focus, however, was on the team's original spinoff design. Judges placed heavy weight on each team's design and its applications, feasibility and marketability.

Teams received higher scores for effective communication, displaying advanced knowledge and understanding of the Webb technologies and for showing that considerable thought and effort went into both the design process and the business case. Each group reflected by highlighting challenges they overcame both in the designing process and in the team setting.

"I came out of this challenge knowing how to stay flexible and patient when unexpected challenges arise," Kelly Derees from Team 2 said. "Science and technology push innovation through overcoming challenge and expanding our ability to explore and achieve as a race."

The winning InWorld team, Team 2, was announced May 5. Two Virginia Tech engineering students, Megan Frey and Ken Houck, led the group. Student members included Derees and David Sugg. Awarded students from both the OPTIMUS PRIME Challenge and the InWorld Challenge earn the opportunity to visit Goddard for a behind-the-scenes tour, a workshop led by NASA scientists and engineers, and an awards ceremony. Winners also have the chance to work with Peter Cullen, who most recently voiced OPTIMUS PRIME in 'Transformers: Age of Extinction' and the anticipated 'Transformers 5.'


Thanks for being here;
We need your help. The SpaceDaily news network continues to grow but revenues have never been harder to maintain.

With the rise of Ad Blockers, and Facebook - our traditional revenue sources via quality network advertising continues to decline. And unlike so many other news sites, we don't have a paywall - with those annoying usernames and passwords.

Our news coverage takes time and effort to publish 365 days a year.

If you find our news sites informative and useful then please consider becoming a regular supporter or for now make a one off contribution.

SpaceDaily Contributor
$5 Billed Once


credit card or paypal
SpaceDaily Monthly Supporter
$5 Billed Monthly


paypal only

.


Related Links
OPTIMUS PRIME
Space Tourism, Space Transport and Space Exploration News






Comment on this article via your Facebook, Yahoo, AOL, Hotmail login.

Share this article via these popular social media networks
del.icio.usdel.icio.us DiggDigg RedditReddit GoogleGoogle




Memory Foam Mattress Review
Newsletters :: SpaceDaily :: SpaceWar :: TerraDaily :: Energy Daily
XML Feeds :: Space News :: Earth News :: War News :: Solar Energy News





SPACE TRAVEL
Photonic Laser Thruster Propels Simulated Spacecraft
Tustin CA (SPX) May 18, 2015
Y.K. Bae Corporation announces their proprietary Photonic Laser Thruster (PLT) has successfully accelerated a 450 gram (~1 lb.) spacecraft simulator with pure laser light for the first time in history. The project was funded by a Phase II grant of NASA Innovative Advanced Concepts (NIAC), which funds the most promising ideas for the next generation NASA space missions. Conducted in a Class ... read more


SPACE TRAVEL
NASA's LRO Moves Closer to the Lunar Surface

European Space Agency Director Wants to Set Up a Moon Base

Russia Invites China to Join in Creating Lunar Station

Japan to land first unmanned spacecraft on moon in 2018

SPACE TRAVEL
Exploring the 'Spirit of St. Louis' Crater

The First Martian Marathon

Technique for finding signs of life on the Red Planet

Quick Detour by NASA Mars Rover Checks Ancient Valley

SPACE TRAVEL
The Moon or Mars: Flawed Debate, False Choice - Part Two

NASA Challenges Designers to Construct Habitat for Deep Space Exploration

NASA's CubeSat Initiative aids solar sail tests in space

The Moon or Mars: Flawed Debate, False Choice - Part One

SPACE TRAVEL
3D printer making Chinese space suit parts

Xinhua Insight: How China joins space club?

Chinese scientists mull power station in space

China completes second test on new carrier rocket's power system

SPACE TRAVEL
ISS Partners Adjust Spacecraft Schedule

Samantha's longer stay on ISS

Italian astronaut shows how to use restroom on ISS online

Russia delays return of ISS crew members after supply ship failure

SPACE TRAVEL
Mexico Wanted to Cancel Satellite Launch on Russian Carrier Rocket

SpaceX cargo ship returns to Earth in ocean splashdown

DirecTV-15 and SKY Mexico-1 integrated for Ariane 5 heavy-lift mission

Russia to Launch US Comms Satellite Into Space

SPACE TRAVEL
Weather forecasts for planets beyond our solar system

Astrophysicists offer proof that famous image shows forming planets

Astronomers detect drastic atmospheric change in super Earth

New exoplanet too big for its star

SPACE TRAVEL
Light it up: Materials crystallize with surprising properties

New chemical catalysts are less expensive, more sustainable

The Internet wants a laser mounted on the space station

A metal composite that will (literally) float your boat




The content herein, unless otherwise known to be public domain, are Copyright 1995-2014 - Space Media Network. All websites are published in Australia and are solely subject to Australian law and governed by Fair Use principals for news reporting and research purposes. AFP, UPI and IANS news wire stories are copyright Agence France-Presse, United Press International and Indo-Asia News Service. ESA news reports are copyright European Space Agency. All NASA sourced material is public domain. Additional copyrights may apply in whole or part to other bona fide parties. Advertising does not imply endorsement, agreement or approval of any opinions, statements or information provided by Space Media Network on any Web page published or hosted by Space Media Network. Privacy Statement All images and articles appearing on Space Media Network have been edited or digitally altered in some way. Any requests to remove copyright material will be acted upon in a timely and appropriate manner. Any attempt to extort money from Space Media Network will be ignored and reported to Australian Law Enforcement Agencies as a potential case of financial fraud involving the use of a telephonic carriage device or postal service.