2018 Competition
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Student Astronaut Challenge
2017 State Competition
General Rules and Procedures

Mission Statement

The Student Astronaut Challenge is an open, nonprofit event that is dedicated to providing schools with the ability to foster interest in science, technology, engineering and mathematics. This contest promotes creativity, teamwork, the understanding and application of STEM subjects, and the sharing of ideas.

 

Registration and Eligibility for the State Competition

 

1.1 State Competition

For grades 9-12, fifteen teams will be selected from the top scorers from the regional qualifiers and "wild card" selections to participate in the state completion held at the Kennedy Space Center in February. For grades 6-8, twelve teams will be selected from the top scorers from the regional qualifiers to participate in the state completion held at the Kennedy Space Center in February.

In the state competition teams will compete in events that focus on the demonstration of knowledge and understanding of the field of aerospace science as well as problem solving skills and performance within a space shuttle flight simulator.

1.2 Eligibility and Teams

Any team, which has participated in the regional competition and has been selected as a finalist will be eligible to compete in the State competition at the Kennedy Space Center in February. The contact person provided on the regional competition registration form will receive either an email confirmation or phone call if their team qualifies for the state finals.

Once notified of making the finals the team will have five days to accept the invitation, if they do not accept the invitation their slot will be given to the next qualified team from that region. There are no exceptions; therefore we recommend you accept as soon as practical!

By qualifying for the state competition the team’s position in the finals is the property of the school being represented. The school’s administration or its designee may change the team members at any time up to the day the competition begins. Each team is permitted six members that will accompany them to the competition and may actively participate. No more than five students from any team may participate in an event; selection of team participants is at the discretion of the team coach.

All members of the team must be attending the school they represent. Home-school students may participate through their local school district or private school.

1.3 Registration

Once a team has accepted the invitation to compete in the state finals, their registration form and payment must be received no later than the week of coach training (see 1.7 Locations, Dates, and Schedule section below).

1.4 Teacher/Coach training

The teacher/coach representing the selected finalists will be required to attend a two day training session at the Florida State Universality Schools in Tallahassee. During this session they will be introduced to the space flight simulator, receive instructional training for their teams, review the competition guidelines and practice the installation and execution of the Orbiter 2010 software. If a teacher/coach or adult representative is not able to attend the two day training session their slot will be given to the next qualified team from that region. If a teacher/coach has participated in the state finals within the last two years they are not required to attend the training although attendance is strongly recommended.

1.5 State Competition Events

The top high school and middle school teams that are selected will compete in four events at the Astronaut Challenge held at the Kennedy Space Center over three days.

Event one will consist of an engineering challenge where students will be provided a space flight operation related problem and will be required to devise and present a procedure for solving the problem.

Event two will be the presentation and demonstration of a focused experimental proposal that could be performed on the International Space Station, on a provided topic, which the students will have developed.

Event three will consist of 3 rounds (run-off, semi-final and final) where teams will be required to perform the pre-flight operation, launch, orbit and landing of the Space Shuttle Enterprise flight simulator (three students) and the operation and responsibilities of the mission control team (two students). The top five teams from the run-off round will proceed to the semi-final round in the simulator challenge where an emergency or other anomaly will be included. The top three teams from the semi-final round will proceed to the final round in the simulator challenge where multiple emergencies and other anomalies will be included.

Event four will consist of 2 rounds (run-off and final) where teams will be required to perform landings of the Space Shuttle flight simulator. The teams will consist of two members that are not part of the three person simulator flight crew. In the run-off, each member will perform a landing and the combined responsibilities of the pilot/mission control function. The top five teams from the run-off round will proceed to the final round where only one landing will be performed. The finals will occur in the Space Shuttle Enterprise flight simulator.

First, Second and Third place awards will be given in each challenge based on the teams scores by the judges for that event. An overall competition award and the State Trophy will be given to the top scoring team from all four events. The overall award will be determined by averaging the scores each team received for their four challenges. Only the run-off score in the space flight simulator challenge and landing challenge will be used in the average score. Teams participating in the semi-finals and finals of the space flight simulator challenge and the landing challenge will earn bonus points toward their average score.

Only result standings will be posted for the space flight simulator challenge and the landing challenge run-offs, no individual team scores or specific results will be provided during the competition. Final scores with general comments and suggestions will be made available to all teams no later than 30 days after the competition.

1.6 State Finalist Fees

The event fee will cover the cost of the competition for each school team up to eight people (six team members and up to two coaches). A fee of $650.00 is required for each team to participate in the state competition. A minimum of a $200 deposit must be received prior to the coach training with the balance due by January 31st. The event fee will include participation in the Astronaut Challenge; completion team luncheon; team shirts; three days at the Kennedy Space Center with access to all attractions and the bus tour.

If a team withdraws from the final competition the Student Astronaut Challenge reserves the right not to refund all or part of the fees based on the ability to replace that team. All checks must be made out to Student Astronaut Challenge and mailed to:

Student Astronaut Challenge
3551 Blairstone Rd.
Suite 128-103
Tallahassee, Fl. 32301

1.7 Locations, Dates, and Schedule

 

Application deadline for Regional Qualifier
Regional Qualifier Competition September 23, 2017
  • South Florida Location - Pompano Beach High School, 600 NE 13th Ave, Pompano Beach FL, 33060
  • Central Florida Location - University High School, 2450 Cougar Way, Orlando FL 32817
  • North Florida Location - Florida High School, 3000 Schoolhouse Road, Tallahassee, Fl. 32311
Notification of the State Competition Teams
Teacher/Coach Training October 27-29, 2017
Middle School Student Astronaut Challenge February 19-21, 2018
High School Student Astronaut Challenge February 22-25, 2018