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Four Orlando Students Win NASA OPTIMUS PRIME Spinoff Video Contest
ORLANDO, Fla. -- Four Orlando students were chosen as winners of the 2010 NASA OPTIMUS PRIME Spinoff Award. The contest encouraged students to produce short, creative videos about their favorite technology from NASA's Spinoff 2009 Publication.

The winning video for third through fifth grades was created by Juliana Sanchez, Samantha Herrod, Isaliz Gonzalez, and Grace Romano, four students at the Union Park Elementary school in Orlando, Fla. The video was based on a story from NASA’s Spinoff 2009 publication called "Fabrics Protect Sensitive Skin from UV Rays." It is about how NASA technology used in clothing is helping to protect the wearer's skin against exposure to harmful ultraviolet rays.

The video was submitted to NASA in 2010 for consideration. Their video was one of two winners. The other winner was in the sixth to eighth grade category.

Kimberley Klein, Science Lab Teacher at Union Park Elementary said, "Juliana Sanchez, Samantha Herrod, Grace Romano, and Isaliz Gonzales created a video about fabrics that protect skin from ultraviolet rays as a project in their extracurricular science club. They were diligent in researching not only the fabric but also learning how to do a news cast. Isaliz was honored at the NASA OPTIMUS PRIME Spinoff Award ceremony at the 27th National Space Symposium last week in Colorado Springs, Colorado. The four girls worked so hard. I couldn’t be more proud of them."

NASA collaborated with Hasbro, using the correlation between the popular TRANSFORMERS brand, featuring its leader OPTIMUS PRIME, and spinoffs from NASA technologies created for aeronautics and space missions used here on Earth. The goal was to help students understand how NASA technology “transforms” into things used daily.

The videos were posted on YouTube, and members of the public voted for their favorites. A panel of NASA judges reviewed the top five videos in each age category and selected two winners.

The winner for sixth through eighth grades was based on the 2009 Spinoff story originating from NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Md. "Star-Mapping Tools Enable Tracking of Endangered Animals." It is about how a star-mapping algorithm used on the Hubble Space Telescope is helping scientists track endangered animals.

"We are so proud and impressed with the job the students did on their videos," said Nona Cheeks, head of Goddard's Innovative Partnerships Program Office. "Based on the students' creativity in developing cool, comprehensive videos demonstrating their understanding of how NASA technology gets used for many purposes, I am very excited by the potential for future contests."

Klein said, "This contest gave the student the opportunity to learn about all the products that were made for NASA and the space program and are now being used in everyday life. I loved hearing their ideas, not only about the video they were making, but also about how they would love to help engineer some of the products they were learning about."

NASA recognized the winning videos during a special awards ceremony with Peter Cullen, the voice of Optimus Prime, at the Space Foundation’s National Space Symposium in Colorado Springs, Colo., on April 12. The winners received the NASA OPTIMUS PRIME trophy during the ceremony.

NASA plans to have the contest again this year, expanding the pool of contestants to ninth through 12th graders with videos about technologies from the Spinoff 2010 publication. Details will be available in May.

For more information about the contest and to see the winning videos, visit:

For related images and information on all of the winners, visit:

For more information about NASA's Office of the Chief Technologist, visit:

For more information about NASA's Spinoff publication, visit:

OPTIMUS PRIME is a trademark of Hasbro, Inc. and is used with permission. © 2011 Hasbro.

Goddard Release No. 11-028b

Rani Gran
NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center, Greenbelt, Md.

Darryl Mitchell NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center, Greenbelt, Md.