More Time for Students/Teachers to "Get Their Genius On" Deadline extended for free STEM competition based on international interest

HOUSTON, Nov. 3, 2011 /PRNewswire/ -- Here's a chance for high school students and teachers to consult with industry experts to solve real-world challenges! What could be more inspiring? What if you could present your innovation at NASA-Ames Research Center in Silicon Valley and possibly travel to Rio de Janeiro to participate in Rio+20? That's the motivation for high school teams participating in the 2011-2012 Spirit of Innovation Challenge. Due to requests from interested teams across the globe, the deadline to participate in the fifth annual competition has been extended to Nov. 29, 2011.

Hosted by the Conrad Foundation, the Spirit of Innovation Challenge invites high school teams to use science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) skills to develop commercially viable, technology-based products in one of three categories - Aerospace Exploration, Clean Energy, and Health and Nutrition.

"The hallmark of America's culture is innovation and entrepreneurship; it's how we got to the moon and how companies like Apple, Facebook and Google were formed," said Nancy Conrad, founder and chairman of the Conrad Foundation. "Our Challenge transcends 'fact memorization' and gives students a real means of changing the world. Making that sort of monumental impact is what inspires these students to tackle the big challenges … exploring the universe, discovering cures for disease and preserving our planet."

It's free and easy to register. Student teams simply answer four questions about their innovative concept by Nov. 29, 2011.

This year's competition offers a once-in-a-decade opportunity for select teams to travel to Rio de Janeiro in June 2012 with the U.S. Department of State to participate with an international audience for the United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development. They will also attend a U.S. workshop in May to meet their global peers in advance of the trip to Rio.

The top fifteen teams, five from each category, will travel to the annual Innovation Summit at NASA-Ames Research Center in California from March 29-31, 2012.

This year's challenge is supported by Lockheed Martin and PepsiCo and in partnership with the U.S. Department of State and NASA. Additional involvement comes from Kraft Foods and the National Space Biomedical Research Institute. The American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics Foundation, The William James Foundation and the American Society for Nutrition are serving as this year's Challenge Partners, providing experts, team mentors and judges.

SOURCE Conrad Foundation



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