Kids are always told to reach for the stars. Now, NASA is literally giving them the chance to—by providing middle and high school students with unprecedented access to the International Space Station and letting them write the programs that control state-of-the-art robots on the International Space Station—no PhD. in astrophysics required!
The Zero Robotics Competition is part of a NASA, MIT and DARPA initiative to cultivate interest in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics. Teams of 5-20 students compete to be the group that controls the SPHERE satellites in zero gravity, and ultimately serve as Ground Control for the REAL crew of the International Space Station. Plus, they get to watch their robots at work in real time via NASA’s live feed.
And your kid thought that Angry Birds Space was cool…
The competition starts online where teams compete to solve a challenge guided by mentors. Students can create, edit, share, save, simulate and submit code, all from a web browser. After several phases of virtual competition, the finalists’ robots are selected to compete aboard the ISS in a live championship. All tournaments are free of charge and all you need to participate is a team, mentors, and access to the Internet!
This project is your chance to inspire tomorrow’s scientists to see math as more than just digits on a calculator, to further the study of outer space, and to push the limits of human knowledge about the worlds (and the space) beyond our planet. You can inspire them to compete in the ZERO ROBOTICS Challenge.
Create 1-2 minute video that gets the world excited about the ZERO ROBOTICS Challenge. You can do this in MANY ways—so don’t limit your thinking on what could get people excited about students controlling objects in space. This could be anything from a “viral” video, to a slick mash up of the existing footage, to an inspired commercial—whatever you can think of. Just keep in mind that videos should make the competition feel accessible to everyone (i.e. to both boys and girls, coders and those without previous coding experience).
--Video Availability: Footage of previous ZERO ROBOTICS competitions will be available for use, but you are not required to include this footage in your video. You can see a complete list of available footage here, request the clips you would like by time code and NASA will provide you with the best quality version of those clips available. All requests should be sent to email@example.com.
--Target Audience: High school and middle school students, teachers and mentors, education leaders, and parents.
--Exposure: Videos will be used for exposure and outreach, as a part of presentations to students about educational opportunities and will be included on web pages and social media outlets at NASA and MIT.
This project will be worth a total of $30,000 and consist of three phases. Note that this tournament style process will progress differently from previous projects, so be sure to read the following information carefully.
PHASE 1: IDEA – Tell us your Idea for a 60-120 second video in 140 characters or less. Remember, an Idea is not a detailed script; it is a distillation of a creative concept, or a tweet-sized explanation of what will happen in the Video. As always, Ideas should be clever, engaging, and fun. Winning Idea creators will each receive $250 and a 5% residual payment for every winning Video their Idea is used to generate.
PHASE 2: PITCH – Using text (500 characters or less), images (storyboards), video, and external links (to other supporting assets, i.e., your reel, etc.), give us your Pitch for how YOU would go about producing this Video based on one of the winning Ideas. The 5 most compelling Pitches will be selected and will receive a $500 production advance to help create their Video. Those winners (upon submitting their Winner's Affidavit and IP Assignment) will also be GUARANTEED to place in the subsequent Video Phase. So, if your Pitch is selected, you will earn a minimum of $1,000 with a 1-in-7 shot at the $12,000 first place video prize. Remember your Pitch can include any, and all, of the assets mentioned above, but you MUST include a link to some of your previous video work on Tongal or elsewhere to be considered for this phase. To avoid information cascades, all Pitches will remain private until after the video winners of the subsequent phase are announced. Alternatively, even if you don’t win the Pitch Phase or choose not to create a pitch, you will still have the opportunity to create a separate “Wild Card” Video in the subsequent Phase.
PHASE 3: VIDEO – Winning Pitch creators from the previous phase will utilize their $500 advance to create a 60-120 second Video based upon their winning materials and all other creators are invited to enter a “Wild Card” submission that’s not based on any winning material from the previous phases. Remember, the FIVE Pitch winners are GUARANTEED prizes, as are TWO of the non-pitch video creators.
--Music: Tongal has partnered with Audiosocket, a boutique music licensing and technology company representing more than 2,400 emerging bands, composers and record labels. This is not "stock" music. It is an inventory of more than 40,000 original, culturally relevant songs and music that have been compiled into a premium roster. Audiosocket's music will be available to Tongal members at no charge solely for their incorporation into Tongal members' submissions to the Zero Robotics Project. Tongal members are encouraged to browse the Audiosocket roster, available by clicking on the "Audiosocket" button on the right hand side of this page. If you are interested in using a track from the Audiosocket roster, as described above, just add the track(s) you want to use to your cart using the "+cart" button, then click the "checkout" button. Enter the Tongal project name and click the "purchase and download" button to acquire the track for free ($0.00). Lastly, click the "download track" button, which will initiate the music file download.
1. Videos MUST NOT exceed 120 seconds in length. Preferred format is HD 720p 16x9. Acceptable file formats are .mov, .avi, .mp4, .wmv. Acceptable codecs are H.264 (MP4), MPEG-4, H.263, MPGV, WMV, DivX.
2. Unless provided otherwise, all work must be your own original creation and free of any copyrighted material. You will provide detailed information of your work regarding the source, the creator and background information as requested by Tongal.
3. While the use of the text “NASA” and “National Aeronautics and Space Administration” is allowable, the use of the NASA icon, (aka Meatball) is not.
4. In the event you utilize any third party materials, such as music provided by a third-party music provider, you must obtain full written license and consent from the owner of such third party materials and provide such license and consent forms to Tongal. Use of third party materials without provision of these forms is prohibited.
5. Submissions cannot contain any profanity, offensive language, nudity or otherwise objectionable material, the determination of which is solely at the discretion of NASA.
6. Submissions must not portray NASA in a negative way, the determination of which will solely reside with NASA.
7. Videos must be in the English language or subtitled in English.
8. This project is NOT open to residents of China.
9. Limit 5 submissions per member, per Phase.
10. Minimum 50 Pitches, or the project may repost for 5 days at the sponsor's discretion.
11. In addition to the standard Tongal W-9, Winner Affidavit, and IP Assignment, winning video creators MUST also provide Talent, Location, and Music Releases for all assets appearing in the video as well as the project files, editing sequence and an uncompressed quicktime .mov file in either Animation or ProRes 422 codecs at either 1920x1080 or 1280x720 to claim their prize.
12. See OFFICIAL RULES for additional contest information, terms and conditions. If there is any conflict or inconsistency between these requirements and the Official Rules, the terms and conditions of these requirements shall prevail.
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