NASA has developed a contest to raise students' awareness of technology transfer efforts and how NASA technologies contribute to our everyday lives.
NASA is collaborating with Hasbro using the correlation between the popular TRANSFORMERS brand, featuring its leader Optimus Prime, and spinoffs from NASA technologies created for aeronautics and space missions that are used here on Earth. The goal is to help students understand that NASA technology 'transforms' into things that are used daily. These 'transformed' technologies include water purifiers, medical imaging software, or fabric that protects against UV rays.
The Innovative Partnerships Program Office at NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Md., in conjunction with NASA's Office of Education, has designed a video contest for students from third to eighth grade. Each student, or group of students, will submit a three- to five-minute video on a selected NASA spinoff technology listed in the 2009 Spinoff publication. Videos must demonstrate an understanding of the NASA spinoff technology and the associated NASA mission, as well as the commercial application and public benefit associated with the “transformed” technology. Video entries are due by December 31.
The videos will be posted on the NASA YouTube channel, and the public will be responsible for the first round of judging. The top five submissions from each of the two grade groups (third-fifth and sixth-eighth) will advance for final judging. A NASA panel will select a winning entry from each group, and the students will receive a glass Optimus Prime Spinoff Award at the Space Foundation's National Space Symposium in 2011. The innovators of the NASA technology highlighted in the winning videos also will receive trophies, along with their commercial partners.