Imagine the ultimate job opening -- paving the way for the future of NASA. Qualified individuals might walk on other worlds. They might design ultrafast aircraft. Perhaps they would study distant planets or build the next generation of rockets.
A job like that is an incredible opportunity, but people can't apply if they don't know about it. They also can't apply if they're not qualified. So how can NASA get the word out that it's looking for students to study science, technology, engineering and mathematics so they'll be ready for the career -- and adventure -- of a lifetime?
That question is the challenge behind the No Boundaries project, a contest NASA and USA Today organized. For the contest, students research technical fields, NASA projects and related careers, then create a multimedia presentation to promote a particular career. Students can be creative in what type of presentation they choose -- podcasts, Web sites, newspapers, songs and artwork are just some of the possibilities. The presentations should inspire teenagers to investigate the careers.
The 2009 No Boundaries National Competition has a deadline of May 15. The winners will receive VIP passes to a shuttle launch (travel not included) and may be asked to present their work to NASA. They also will receive cash awards and be recognized on the No Boundaries Web site. Students in grades 7-12 can enter the contest either as individuals or as school teams. The contest is designed so that it can be integrated into a classroom environment and is aligned to national standards.
Students from Lyman High School in Longwood, Fla., were the first place winners of the 2008 contest. The students and sponsor Bill Yucuis received VIP passes to the STS-119 space shuttle launch in March 2009. The students' project, "It's Electric," focused on aerospace careers in electrical engineering. The primary project was a multimedia computer presentation about the career, and a supplemental Web site featured an interview with an electrical engineer.
NASA supports competitions such as No Boundaries as creative ways to support its goal of attracting and retaining students in science, technology, engineering and mathematics disciplines. The agency works to partner with other organizations to increase the impact of its efforts. Contests like No Boundaries continue NASA's tradition of investing in the nation's education programs and offering hands-on, interactive educational activities.
USA Today, the nation's largest newspaper, has long been a provider of credible news and information about business and industry trends, emerging technologies and profiles of leaders in government, business and nonprofits. The synergy between USA Today's coverage of NASA's research, space exploration and innovations happening every day along with NASA's goals of preparing the next generation of skilled workers for careers in science, technology, engineering and math provides a robust educational opportunity that inspires students to become the next generation of explorers.
On the Web
No Boundaries →
2008 No Boundaries Contest Winners →
David Hitt/NASA Educational Technology Services