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NASA Ames Space Settlement Contest 2017

Deadline: Deadline: Always Open01-Mar-2017
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What is NASA Ames Space Settlement Contest 2017?

NASA Ames Space Settlement describes about the space colonies which are permanent communities in orbit, as opposed to living on the Moon or other planets. The work of Princeton physicist Dr. O'Neill and others have shown that such colonies are technically feasible, although expensive. Settlers of this high frontier are expected to live inside large air-tight rotating structures holding hundreds, thousands, or even millions of people along with the animals, plants, and single celled organisms vital to comfort and survival. There are many advantages to living in orbit: zero-g recreation, environmental independence, plentiful solar energy, and terrific views to name a few. There is plenty of room for everyone who wants to go; the materials from a single asteroid can build space colonies with living space equal to about 500 times the surface area of the Earth.

Who can apply for this scholarship ?

Contest categories are Additional categories based on artistic and literary merit are also included in the contest.

  • 7th grade and under: individual, small group, large group,
  • 8th grade: individual, small group, large group,
  • 9th grade: individual, small group, large group,
  • 10th grade: individual, small group, large group,
  • 11th grade: individual, small group, large group,
  • 12th grade: individual, small group, large group.

How can you apply ?

Send a hard copy of your entry and two hard copies of a filled out entry form (one firmly attached to your entry and the other loosely attached, perhaps with a paper clip) to:
NASA Ames Research Center
Al Globus/Mail Stop 262-4
Bldg. 262, Rm. 277
Moffett Field, CA 94035-0001

Entries must arrive by March 1, 2017.
NOTE: We do not send verification that entries have been received. Please don't ask for one. If you want to know if the entry has arrived, use a service that requires a signature. Teachers using the contest in their class should submit all projects together. Note: electronic submission is not allowed, only hard copy.


How do I enter the contest?
Simply send your entry to NASA Ames by the deadline along with entry forms. All entries must be hard copy (paper), no electronic entries are permitted. See the contest web page for details.

How do I register for the contest?
You don't. There is no registration. Simply send your entry to NASA Ames by the deadline along with entry forms. See the contest web page for details.

How and when should I send my entry to NASA Ames?
We recommend either the U.S. Postal Service or a commercial service such as FedEx, UPS, or DHL. You should time sending such that your entry arrives at Ames well before the deadline. Do not send via registered mail, that can actually delay delivery significantly and is no more reliable.

How and when will the results be known?
Contest results will be posted at a link from the contest web page a few days after judging is complete. Juding is usually complete 2-3 weeks after the contest deadline.

Terms and Conditions

Submissions must relate to orbital settlements. Settlements may not be on a planet or moon. Settlements must be permanent, relatively self-sufficient homes, not temporary work camps. Submissions may focus on one or a few aspects of space settlement and supporting systems, including mines, activities leading up to settlement (such as space hotels), economic and social issues, etc. 

Designs, original research, essays, stories, models, artwork or any other orbital space settlement related materials may be submitted.
Submissions must be made in hard copy. No electronic submissions are accepted under any circumstances. This includes Power Point presentations, discs, CD's, DVD, videos or anything but paper. NASA does not return contestant submissions. However, you may create an electronic project, such as a video or web site, and send us a hard copy description of the project. The description should include images and text to describe the project in sufficient detail for judgement. If your electronic project is web accessible, you may include the URL. It will not be used for judging, but NASA may, at its discretion, link to your project from the contest results 
page. Two copies of the entry form with the appropriate information must be included with the submission; one firmly attached to the submission and one loosely attached (for example, with a paper clip). Be sure to fill out all fields. Please type if at all possible. Use a separate sheet if necessary.
The submission must be the student's own work. Plagiarism is forbidden. No part of an entry may copied with one exception: You may quote short passages, but only if the material is surrounded in double quotes (") and the source indicated. For example: "This material copied from somewhere," My Favorite Space Book. Quoted materials should rarely be more than a few lines, and never longer than a few paragraphs. Quoting long passages is forbidden. Entries caught plagiarizing, even one part of a large entry, will be disqualified and disposed of. Instructors, mentors or parents may assist the student by presenting relevant resources, discussing core concepts and minor editing, but the work itself must be entirely student driven.
Always include a bibliography. Submissions are not returned. Keep a copy for yourself.

You may use other people's ideas in your entry, but not other people's writing. You may use images from the web, but please credit the source. In recent years plagiarism, copying other people's writing rather than doing your own, has become a serious problem. Every year up to 30% of all entries are caught copying materials from the web. They are eliminated from the competition. To avoid plagiarism, we recommend that you:

  • Never use copy/paste for any text in your project.
  • Never write your project while looking at anybody else's text.
  • Never memorize a passage and type it into your project.

In other words: always write it yourself. Note that copying material and changing a few words here and there is also plagiarism. Write your own material!
We expect teachers to check every project from their students for plagiarism and not permit entries with plagiarism to be sent to NASA. To check for plagiarism look for places where the English is very good and/or is a different style from the rest of the project. Use Google (or other search engine) by surrounding 6-8 suspect words with double quotes, for example "text I think might be plagiarised by someone." If there is a perfect match, then look at the source material to make sure there wasn't an accidental match. Most of the time it will be plagiarism and must be removed from the project. There are also some automated plagiarism detectors available 
on the web. Consider using them. Please do not send us plagiarized material!

Plagiarism is particularly sad for teams when one team member plagiarizes and the others are ethical. For teams, we recommend that students check each other for plagiarism.

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