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NHHPC Middle School Asteroid Contest
May 16, 2012

NHHPC Middle School Asteroid Contest Complete!

Past human space exploration has influenced the thinking of scientists, politicians, artists and the general public and has lead to new discoveries and products. Now it is time to ask you — what must we consider to send a human crew on a mission to an asteroid?

In the Spring of 2012, NHHPC invited students from across the nation to academically challenge themselves, diving into the world of science and mathematics with the NHHPC Asteroid Contest. In this pilot program, students prepared presentations to NASA that outlined their mission plans for human crew travel to an asteroid. Students chose a target asteroid, determined mission goals, and picked two challenges to investigate further from a long list of options. The end product was a presentation to the Flight Readiness Review Control Board regarding the individual or team's findings.

Recognized participants of this Asteroid Contest do not receive prizes or monetary awards, but those who have displayed exemplary workmanship and creativity, have their presentations now on display, highlighted on this website. Recognition from NASA and Clemson University has also been imparted to the participants in the way of certificates, posters, and a press release.

The task of sending a crewed space vehicle to an asteroid is a daunting one and the students' work has shown their capacity to learn and explain complicated aspects of space travel. We, in the NHHPC, believe this activity has demonstrated and enhanced their ability to grasp and communicate difficult topics. Comprehension and information transfer are key elements to a successful career in all fields, particularly Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math (STEM). Our hope is that this exercise has inspired these students to pursue increased knowledge and skills in these ever-expanding disciplines.

Numerous members of the NHHPC successfully partnered together to bring success to this project and we are proud of the responses received for this competition. Also, we look forward to offering additional opportunities to students in the future. Feel free to admire the winning team entries we received with products so impressive, ties were awarded for First and Second Place.

The concept of asteroid missions was also adapted to the educational format used by Girlstart for their Girls in STEM 2012 Conference with over 400 girls. View their asteroid lander designs at the Girlstart.org website.


Recognized Participants

First Place Team

Title: Air and Exiting (PDF)
Participant: Chance
Camden Middle School, SC

First Place Team

Title: Water and Exercise (PDF)
Participants: Adia, Anna, Baylen, Lillith
Neighborhood After School Science Association, NY

Second Place Team

Title: Family Contact and Exercise (PDF)
Participants: Sarah, Savanna
Camden Middle School, SC

Second Place Team

Title: Food and Exercise (PDF)
Participants: Cameron, Christian, Collin
Camden Middle School, SC

Second Place Team

Title: Gravitational Effects and Water (PDF)
Participants: James, Ronak, Vignesh
Sterling School, SC

Second Place Team

Title: Hygiene and Conflict Resolution (PDF)
Participants: Angela, Cynthia, Madaline, Sara
Camden Middle School, SC

Second Place Team

Title: Hygiene and Exercise (PDF)
Participants: Amanda, Carlos, Emma, Shania
Camden Middle School, SC



NHHPC Member Participation:

Wyle Science, Technology and Engineering
Clemson University Human Factors and Ergonomics Research Institute
Orion’s Quest
Committee for Action Program Services (CAPS)
Universities Space Research Association
Exploration Architecture Corporation
Square One Education Network
National Space Biomedical Research Institute
DLR Institute of Aerospace Medicine
Zoological Society of San Diego