2014-2015 NASA Goddard OPTIMUS PRIME Spinoff Challenge
NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center is launching the 2014-2015 TRANSFORMERS OPTIMUS PRIME Spinoff Challenge, hosted by the Innovative Technology Partnerships Office. The purpose of the challenge is to raise awareness of NASA’s Technology Transfer Program and to inspire interest in all NASA missions, programs and projects.
This year the scope of the contest is being expanded to include two challenges. In the first challenge, students in grades 3-12 are asked to submit a video describing their favorite NASA Goddard spinoff. In a new twist, participants in this year′s contest must also use the engineering design process to develop and propose a new spinoff application of their own for the technology. Spinoffs are technologies originally created for space and modified into everyday products used on Earth. Examples include memory foam, invisible braces and scratch-resistant lenses for eyeglasses.
The second challenge, the TRANSFORMERS OPTIMUS PRIME InWorld Challenge, offers students in grades 6-12 an opportunity to take their video spinoff ideas to another level. Interested teams must study James Webb Space Telescope spinoff technology and post their completed spinoff videos for review by college engineering students. Engineering college mentors will select 20 teams to continue the collaborative design process within a multiuser virtual world to build a 3-D model of the team′s design solutions.
Winning students from each grade category will be invited to Goddard to participate in a behind-the-scenes workshop, attend a VIP awards ceremony and meet actor Peter Cullen, the voice of OPTIMUS PRIME.
The deadline to register and upload videos is Jan. 12, 2015.
For more information, visit http://itpo.gsfc.nasa.gov/optimus/.
Questions about this contest should be directed to Darryl Mitchell at Darryl.R.Mitchell@nasa.gov.
TRANSFORMERS and OPTIMUS PRIME are trademarks of Hasbro and are used with permission. © 2014 Hasbro. All rights reserved.
Nathan Smith is Director of Technology for the College of Education and Human Services at Utah State University. In that role, he also directs The Adele & Dale Young Education Technology Center (The YETC) located in room 170 of the Education Building on Utah State University's Logan campus. The YETC is a combination student openaccess computer facility, a K12 curriculum materials library, a NASA Educator Resource Center for Utah, and a technology training center.
Nathan served eight years (20042012) on the Board of Directors for the Utah Coalition for Education Technology (UCET) He was reelected in 2014 to serve another two year term on the board.
A former elementary school teacher, Nathan has taught students every age from young children to senior citizens. He has had the opportunity beginning in 2011 to train international high school teachers from all over the world about technology in education, through the U.S. State