This annual contest is for all students at up to 12th grade from anywhere in the world. Individuals, small teams of two to five, and large teams of six to twelve are judged separately. No more than 12 students on a project. (This year only: if you have already started with more than 12 students and win, reply to the winner notification email to get a certificate with all the student’s names.) Entries are also grouped by age/grade of the oldest contestant for judging. The age groups are 7th and younger, 8th, 9th, 10th, 11th and 12th. The grand prize is awarded to the best entry regardless of contestant age. Students develop space settlement designs and related materials.
- Submissions must relate to free space settlements. Settlements may not be on a planet or moon, although support activities such as mining may be. Settlements must be permanent 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 should not be longer than 50 pages unless it is essential to explain the work. The project must consist of 1-10 pdf or jpg files (usually just one). Each may be no larger than 24 MB.
- Submissions will be made electronically.
- 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 suggesting minor edits, but the work itself must be entirely student produced.
- All entries that are not excluded for plagiarism will be judged by one or more judges on their merits. Once the judges submit their scores on a particular entry, the judges’ scores cannot be changed. All decisions by the judges are final. The judges’ decisions cannot be challenged in any way by any contestant. By submitting your entry, you agree that you cannot and will not contest the judges’ decisions in any way.
The highest ranking attending entry will receive the Herman Rubin Award of $5,000 and give a plenary talk at one of the conference’s signature events. All participants will receive a NASA certificate. The best submission will be placed on the contest’s official website.The 2020 contest is conducted electronically.