Imagine cup earth by NASA and Microsoft

Imagine Cup Earth by NASA and Microsoft is a new contest for students ages 6-18 in which you’ll use computer programming to create a game, simulation, or story inspired by the kinds of earth science that NASA and other researchers do every day. 18 winning students will win prizes totaling $36,000! .

Do I need to know coding?

We have two skill level brackets so you can compete in the one that’s right for you:

Beginner: No coding experience necessary! You can learn to code with free online coding kits from Microsoft Imagine and make your first game, app, or science project in about half an hour using our free learn-to-code tools Kodu Game Lab, Microsoft Touch Develop, or Project Spark. After doing a couple of those coding kits, you should be ready to start thinking about your project for Imagine Cup Earth.

Here are some suggestions to get you started on your coding journey:

  • If you’re interested in making a game, try using Kodu Game Lab on your Windows PC and our KoduMan coding kit to build your first game. If you’re not on a Windows PC, try using Microsoft Touch Develop which is a website that works on any computer or touchscreen device like a phone or tablet; the Brick Breaker coding kit is a great place to start.
  • If you want to try coding an app you can use on your phone or tablet, try Microsoft Touch Develop and our Magic Ball coding kit.
  • If coding astory intrigues you, you could try using Project Spark on your Xbox One or Windows 8 or 10 PC with our Lunchtime Blues coding kit.

Intermediate: For this bracket, you’ll create a web app in the language of your choice such as HTML5/CSS/Javascript, or Python, or anything else. The only requirement is that it run in a web browser. You can either host your project on your own website or use our free-for-students Microsoft Azure cloud hosting service. Your web app will use real earth-science data provided by NASA to explore the role of chlorophyll and algae in our world’s oceans.

What is the deadline to submit my project?

We know that around the world, students have many different school schedules. So we have three global deadlines and you can pick the one that’s right for you! They are:

First Round Deadline: 23:59 GMT December 15, 2015

Second Round Deadline: 23:59 GMT March 31, 2016

Third Round Deadline: 23:59 GMT June 15, 2016

You can enter any round you want. You can even enter multiple rounds – if you don’t win one round you can make a new project or improve your old one and try again!

What are the prizes?

Six students will win a prize for each round, three in each of our two skill level brackets:

Beginner BracketIntermediate Bracket
For the best earth-science themed game, app, or simulation using Kodu Game Lab, Microsoft Touch Develop, or Project Spark.For the best web app exploring an earth-science topic using actual NASA data.
1st Prize: $3,0001st Prize: $3,000
2nd Prize: $2,0002nd Prize: $2,000
3rd Prize: $1,0003rd Prize: $1,000


Take the challenge