The NASA Make Challenge encourages makers to design experimental science kits that can be built by students in the classroom and then flown on a sub-orbital flight. Makers can submit their kit designs via Makeprojects.com. Here are the complete guidelines. The deadline is April 30th, 2011.
The maker who designs the winning kit will win a trip to the Bay Area Maker Faire in 2011 where the winner will be celebrated and given all kinds of honors, both real and imagined. We’ll also document the kit design in a future issue of Make Magazine.
If you have questions about participating in the NASA Make Challenge, please add your questions in the comments section below and we’ll do our best to get them answered. We’d like to help as many people as possible participate.
Can Canadians participate in the challenge? Not really. Anyone is welcome to design a kit that fits within the parameters of our contest and to submit it to Makeprojects.com, but, unfortunately, only those proposals submitted by U.S. citizens can win the challenge at this time (due to restrictions on NASA funding), and so only those will be considered.
Can I use include iPhones and other pricey electronics within the $100-200 budget? One goal of designing the kits should be replicability. Unless you have discovered a source where hundreds to thousands of students could get the materials for the same cost, then you should calculate it within your budget at its fair market value. We recommend you look at lower-cost platforms for sensing and interaction, such as the Arduino, to keep your budget low. Kits can be proposed that would cost over $100 to build, but cost will be a factor in evaluation with preference given to lower-cost kits.