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NASA Space Spinoff Contest

NASA tech innovation posterNASA’s second annual OPSPARC Challenge asks students in grades 3 to 12 to identify everyday items that were first developed for a space mission and then imagine a new humanitarian purpose for that technology. Deadline for submission is February 10, 2017.

That question lies at the heart of NASA’s Optimus Prime Spinoff and Research Challenge, a contest that asks students in grades 3 to 12 to identify and dream up a new purpose for technology first developed for a space mission.

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Print It!

3D printed fashionFrom manufacturing to fashion to reconstructive medicine, 3-D printing is changing the way America does business. ASEE’s Prism magazine has reported on this breakthrough technology in a series of articles. Check out these examples.

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NASA’s Real-Life Martian Sfx

Habitat from the movie The MartianIf NASA loves the The Martian, it may be because the 21st Century Fox film starring Matt Damon draws on real-life technologies the U.S. space agency already has or is developing for a manned mission to Mars.

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Smithsonian Opens New Innovation Hall

Smithsonian innovation hallOn July 1, the Smithsonian’s National Museum of American History will open its new innovation wing, with interactive exhibits and programs focused on the theme of U.S. enterprise, business, and invention. The centerpiece of the 45,000-square-foot space is the studio of Ralph Baer, inventor of the home video game.

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Young Minds Design Contest

Young Mind Awards logoThe Young Mind Awards are a global competition for middle and high school students to inspire interest in becoming innovators and engineers. Teams or individuals design and build a product to solve a problem or improve a process, then demonstrate how it works in a three-minute video presentation. Entries are due May 31, 2015.

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Cisco’s Internet of Things Contest

eiffel towerWhat is a current or emerging problem that can be solved by connecting more devices and everyday objects to the Internet or other networks? Young woman between the ages of 13 and 18 who like to take a creative approach to projects will find the Cisco Internet of Things World Forum Young Women’s Innovation Grand Challenge is for them!

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Novel Wind Turbines

rooftop wind turbineOne day, we may be lugging our own personal wind turbines. International design company frog has unsheathed an umbrella-size, portable wind turbine called Revolver that can generate enough juice from a faint breeze to power a laptop, small light, or radio, or recharge a cellphone or other small electronic gadget.

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2014 ExploraVision Contest

Back to the Future car ExploraVision is a K-12 science competition that focuses on what it takes to bring ideas to reality. Student teams envision what a current technology might look like in 20 years and describe the development steps, pros and cons, and obstacles. Sponsored by the National Science Teachers Association and Toshiba, this year’s contest is linked to the Next Generation Science Standards.

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Program a Friend

man in mazeIn this activity, students working in pairs learn basic computer programming and software engineering concepts by building an obstacle course, then steering a blindfolded friend through it by using a series of commands. They re-run the maze to improve on their “program.”

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