Report from Headquarters


Written by: developer

NASA Launches OPTIMUS PRIME Award NASA has launched a video contest for students, grades 3-8, that raises awareness of how NASA technologies contribute to our everyday lives. The awards will be presented next April during the Space Foundation’s 27th National Space Symposium at The Broadmoor Hotel in Colorado Springs. Colo. The contest has also been granted Certified Space Education Product status by the Space Foundation.

Working in collaboration with Hasbro, creator of the TRANSFORMERS brand and its leader OPTIMUS PRIME, NASA is asking students to a submit three- to five-minute video on a technology listed in the 2009 NASA Spinoff publication. Videos can be produced by either individuals or groups of students and must demonstrate an age-appropriate level of understanding of the selected technology and the associated NASA mission, as well as the commercial application and public benefit associated with the “transformed” technology. Video entries are due by Dec. 31; winners will be notified in February 2011.

The goal is to help students understand that NASA technology ‘transforms’ into things that are used daily. These ‘transformed’ technologies include water purifiers, medical imaging software or fabric that protects against UV rays.

The videos will be posted on the NASA YouTube channel, and the public will be responsible for the first round of judging. The top five submissions from each of two grade categories (3-5 and 6-8) will advance for final judging by a NASA panel. The winners will receive an OPTIMUS PRIME Spinoff Award at the 27th National Space Symposium ceremony. The innovators of the NASA technology highlighted in the winning videos also will receive trophies, along with their commercial partners.

Certified Space Education Products are used in educational environments to stimulate interest and knowledge about space, thus supporting the Space Foundation’s mission to advance space-related endeavors to inspire, enable and propel humanity.

The Space Foundation Space Certification program also recognizes products and services that have been adapted from space technology or space program development to improve life on Earth as Certified Space Technologies and toys and entertainment products used to increase interest in and excitement for space as Certified Space Imagination Products. For more information on the program, go to

For more information about NASA’s Innovative Partnerships Program, visit:
IPP website:

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

For information about the Space Foundation and the 27th National Space Symposium, visit

This article is part of Space Watch: November 2010 (Volume: 9, Issue: 11).