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Bright Young Minds Present Visions for the Future
Conrad Foundation's Summit of Innovation Click image for full resolution.
Ames Center Director Pete Worden and Conrad Foundation chairman and chief executive officer Nancy Conrad pose with the winners in the clean energy category, the West Philly EVX team.
Image credit: NASA/Dominic Hart

Conrad Foundation's Summit of Innovation Click image for full resolution.
The students take a break from the presentations and have some fun with the rock band, Ozomatli.
Image credit: NASA/Dominic Hart
High school teams from across the country, plus the Isle of Man, presented their solutions to a variety of 21st century problems during the Conrad Foundation’s Innovation Summit held April 28 - May 1, 2011 at NASA’s Ames Research Center, Moffett Field, Calif.

This third annual event included 27 finalist teams competing in the categories of aerospace exploration, clean energy and cyber security.

"By providing an outlet for students to use their knowledge in relevant and practical ways and by connecting them with mentors who can help make their vision a reality, we open avenues for discovery and build interest in the careers available in science and technology industries," said Nancy Conrad, chairman and chief executive officer of the Conrad Foundation.

The team from Upper Clair High School in Pittsburg, Pa. won the aerospace exploration category for their composting system for use in long-duration space flight. The “Perpetual Harvest Space Nutrition System” takes organic waste and creates compost that is then used to grow fresh foods while also serving as an air filter for human habitation.

Another team from Pennsylvania, the West Philly EVX team, won the clean energy category for their Electric Very Light Car (EVLC). The EVX team built on a previous team’s success with the design of the Edison 2 Very Light Car chassis by adding a lithium iron phosphate battery and an efficient electric motor. The EVLC is now being prepared for the commercial market.

"Winning the Conrad Scholar Award in the clean energy category validates all the hard work my students have done this school year," said Paul Holt, coach for the West Philly EVX team. "The award allows the team to finish the prototype of the EVLC by the end of the school year and move to the next phase of development."

The team from the North Carolina School of Science and Mathematics in Durham won the cyber security category with their Med PAL smart phone application that works with a Bluetooth-enabled heart rate monitor.

Each winning team receives $5,000 to continue the development of their product and the teams also receive assistance promoting their product in the media and at partner events and activities.

In addressing the attendees during the closing ceremony, NASA Ames Center Director Pete Worden said, “You represent the future, and you are an inspiration to us all at NASA.”

For more information on the Conrad Innovation Summit, visit:


Cathy Weselby
Ames Research Center, Moffett Field, Calif.