Friday, April 4, 2008

Google X-Prize Update

March was a great month for the Google Lunar X PRIZE. We’ve highlighted some of the prize’s recent successes below, but, as always, check out for team updates and other information.

Space Florida – New Preferred Partner

The X PRIZE Foundation has announced that Space Florida will be a new preferred partner and the first preferred launch site for the $30 million Google Lunar X PRIZE competition. As the first preferred launch site, Space Florida will award an additional prize of $2 million to the Grand Prize winner of the Google Lunar X PRIZE competition upon confirmation that the winner has complied with all competition rules, provided the winner launched the winning flight from the State of Florida. This award creates a powerful incentive for all Google Lunar X PRIZE competitors to strongly consider Florida as the launch site for their entry.

Space Florida was created by the Florida Legislature to sustain Florida's position as the global leader in space exploration and commerce, and is the principal organization charged with promoting and developing Florida's aerospace industry.

Space Education

National Science Teachers Association National Conference on Science Education

We kicked off the 2008 Pete Conrad Spirit of Innovation Award competition at the National Science Teachers Association annual conference, held this year in Boston, Massachusetts. Teachers from around the country learned about the two Conrad Award themes – Personal SpaceFlight and Lunar Exploration – and also how to get their students involved in the Google Lunar X PRIZE by adopting a team and following the competition with online education activities. Teachers from all over the U.S.A. – and a few other countries – visited the X PRIZE booth to talk about our education opportunities.

2008 Botball Design Challenge

This year, the X PRIZE Foundation proudly partnered with the KISS Institute for Practical Robotics to create the 2008 Botball Design Challenge. Students studied the Google Lunar X PRIZE, conceptualized a winning entry, and developed a webpage to promote their ideas. Though the students did not build actual hardware, they were required to understand the underlying technological issues, present a rover design, select a landing spot, et cetera. The winners were announced earlier this month. In the high school division, the winners were: Nease High School; Evergreen Valley High School; and Greater Lowell Technical High School. In the middle school division, the winners were: Desert Robotics Team #4; Highlands Intermediate; and Whittier Middle School.

Team Summit

The first ever Google Lunar X PRIZE Team Summit will be held May 20-21, 2008, at the campus of the International Space University in Strasbourg, France. Representatives from all of our teams will be joined by others interested in forming teams of their own, as well as potential partners and suppliers, and the world’s leading experts on space travel and lunar exploration. Stay tuned to our website for registration information.

If you would like to form a team and be announced as an official Google Lunar X PRIZE competitor at the Team Summit, you must complete your registration by April 18, 2008.

The Google Lunar X PRIZE Online Presence

Interested in finding out what the Google Lunar X PRIZE team did at NSTA? Or seeing the latest development from your favorite team? You can find the Google Lunar X PRIZE on YouTube, Facebook, Twitter and, of course, our very own website. Part of what makes these online communities work is your participation – join in and tell us what you think!

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