AAAS Student Essay Competition

AAAS logo3Undergraduate and graduate students are invited to participate in the American Association for the Advancement of Science’s Science and Human Rights Coalition essay contest, which encourages students to find the connections between human rights and science, engineering, and health professions. Students may write an analytical or critical paper on any topic that is at the intersection of science, technology, and human rights. Winners will receive a year of AAAS membership and a one-year subscription to Science. Essays will also be considered for AAAS’s quarterly publication, Professional Ethics Report.

The contest is open to students of all disciplines, but those in science, social science, health, engineering, and mathematics programs are especially encouraged to participate. Read more about the judging criteria and essay requirements here, and remember to submit your essay no later than midnight on May 30, 2014.

Penn State Students Aim for the Moon


80 Pennsylvania State University engineering students are looking to land their own rover, called the Lunar Lion, on the surface of the Moon by the end of 2015, according to the Chronicle of Higher Education. The students have entered their Moon lander in the Google Lunar X Prize Competition along with 17 other teams, and they estimate they need about $60 million in cash and in-kind donations to make it there.

Along with students, the team comprises faculty advisers and seven full-time project employees. The students are interested in showing that universities, alongside companies like Boeing and SpaceX, can also work with NASA and play a role in space exploration.

Aluminum Extrusion Student Design Competition

ET Foundation’s 2014 International Aluminum Extrusion Student Design Competition is open to high school, undergraduate and graduate college students with an interest in learning about the benefits of designing with aluminum extrusions in various market applications. Winning entries will be those that best demonstrate the benefits of aluminum extrusions, whether by inventing a new product or improving an existing one. Entries will be judged based on criteria including creativity, practicality, and market potential.
Scholarships will be presented as cash awards to the top student designs, including $3,000 for first place, $2,000 for second place, and $1,000 for third place. Students also may compete for the Hydro Sustainable Design Scholarship Award of $2,500, which recognizes the designs that best address environmental and societal concerns and meets environmental demands while enhancing the user’s quality of life. A grand prize of $3,500 will be awarded to the best overall design. The deadline for entries is March 31, 2014.

Virginia Tech Students Compete with 3D-Printed Vehicles

3D printer

The new Additive Manufacturing Grand Challenge at Virginia Tech could pave the way for innovations in military repairs and remotely operated vehicles. The competition, which started on March 3 and is partly sponsored by the Air Force Office of Scientific Research, invites Virginia Tech undergraduates and graduates of all majors to design and test 3D printed aircraft and ground vehicles. According to the challenge website, future military and civilian engineers might need to use similar methods to create remotely operated vehicles in urgent situations — like on battlefields or amidst natural disasters — where there’s no time to wait for reinforcements to arrive. 3D printing could also one day make machine repairs simple and convenient, by being able to print the necessary part wherever and whenever it’s needed.

Student teams can only use 3D printing materials and standard electronics sch as motors, batteries, and receivers. The finale, to be held May 15, will pit teams against each other in obstacle courses. Judging factors will include ability to navigate the course, time to complete a mission, and the time it took to print and assemble the parts of the vehicle. A total of $15,000 in cash prizes is at stake, which includes $3,000 for first-place winners and $250 for each team that creates a functional vehicle, regardless of placing.

College Contestants Named for 2015 Solar Decathlon

dept energy logo

The U.S. Department of Energy has selected 20 college teams to compete in the U.S. Department of Energy Solar Decathlon 2015. They include eight returning teams, 12 new teams, and four feature partners from international schools.

According to the department’s website:

“The Solar Decathlon 2015 teams now begin a two-year process to build solar-powered, highly energy-efficient houses that combine affordability, innovation, and design excellence. The teams will design, construct, and test their houses before reassembling them in fall 2015 at the competition site at the Orange County Great Park in Irvine, California.

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