Gravity Design Challenge, a youth design contest

We just found out kids that have been at MakerKids are allowed to enter this contest and win prizes (not the travel or lodging, that is for US contestants only). Check out the details below on how to enter!

Build a Space Mission with household materials and compete for a trip to New York with 2 guest to watch the Premiere screening of Gravity and get the chance to see the stars from the film!

Get ready to build your rockets! Iridescent is very proud to announce the Gravity Design Challenge, a partnership with Warner Bros. Pictures release of GRAVITY, starring Academy Award® winners Sandra Bullock  and George Clooney, in theaters October 4, 2013. The Gravity Design Challenge runs August 12 and is hosted on our online science studio, Curiosity Machine, providing kids a hands-on learning opportunity in science and engineering.

The Gravity Design Challenge invites children to create a Rube Goldberg machine that will simulate a space mission and orbit of the earth. The grand prize winner will receive complimentary travel and four tickets to the New York movie premiere on or about October 1.

In the Gravity Design Challenge, participating kids between the ages of 13 and 18 in the United States (excluding Arizona) and the District of Columbia will learn astrophysics and engineering design principles, while developing the persistence it takes to invent a design from scratch. The Gravity Design Challenge on Curiosity Machine just takes three steps: 

  1. kids watch a video explaining scientific concepts and the engineering challenge
  2. kids experiment at home with their parents to design and create an invention
  3. kids submit photos and videos of their creations to receive feedback from mentoring engineers and scientists.

Volunteer mentors, including professional engineers, faculty and students from a variety of organizations, including Boeing, Columbia University, Stanford University, UC Berkeley, USC, and San Francisco State University, will provide feedback to Gravity Design Challenge participants through the submission period. A panel of experts from the astrophysics field will judge the final entries.

“The Gravity Design Challenge encourages kids to observe their world, ask questions and innovate, and is a great example of the type of hands-on family science programs we’ve done best at Iridescent. Through our partnership with Warner  Bros. Pictures, we are encouraging families around the country to take an active interest in science, engineering and space exploration through a fun and creativity-inspiring contest,” said Tara Chklovski, Founder and CEO of Iridescent.

Gravity movie 

Academy Award® winners Sandra Bullock (“The Blind Side”) and George Clooney (“Syriana”) star in “Gravity,” a heart-pounding thriller that pulls you into the infinite and unforgiving realm of deep space.  The film was directed by Oscar® nominee Alfonso Cuarón (“Children of Men”). Bullock plays Dr. Ryan Stone, a brilliant engineer on her first shuttle mission, with veteran astronaut Matt Kowalski (Clooney).  But on a seemingly routine spacewalk, disaster strikes. The shuttle is destroyed, leaving Stone and Kowalski completely alone—tethered to nothing but each other and spiraling out into the blackness. The deafening silence tells them they have lost any link to  Earth…and any chance for rescue.  As fear turns to panic, every gulp of air eats away at what little oxygen is left. But the only way home may be to go further out into the terrifying expanse of space. “Gravity” was written by Alfonso Cuarón & Jonás Cuarón, and produced by Alfonso Cuarón and David Heyman (the “Harry Potter” films).  Chris deFaria, Nikki Penny and Stephen Jones served as executive producers.


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