Space Colony Contest 1994 Results
Displays of some of colony designs can be found at the
NASA Ames Teacher Resource Center
in Mountain View, California.
There were a total of 23 submissions by about 60
participants. Two ninth grade classes participated.
There was one participant from Canada and a group
from Singapore, the rest were from the U.S. Most
entries included a picture, usually hand drawn on
large paper. One contestant submitted via email.
Judging from the names and meeting some of the kids,
the participants were extremely diverse ethnically.
Grand Prize Winner
DHL, Inc. -- a fictitious company of three ninth graders:
Gary Diaz, Randall Hom, and Michael Leong --
won the grand prize. Their colony housed about
one billion people and is estimated to cost several
quadrillion dollars. The design is dominated by a
number of tori (almost cylinders since the minor radius
is very small) that make up the living areas. The
submission included a color poster and a physical model.
The writing was excellent and the physics and engineering
good considering their age and education.
Many of the contestants didn't understand that people
must live on the inside of rotating structures with
feet pointing outwards.
Most entries were from younger kids (6-9th grade group).
Not surprisingly their physics was weak. This
suggests that conceptual physics should perhaps
be taught to younger kids -- at least from the
point of view of winning space colony contests.
There was a lot of good art work and a couple
of inspired space aliens (somewhat peripheral to
the contest but appreciated none-the-less). Almost
all contestants recognized the need for excellent
environmental controls and minimization of pollutants.
Most colony designs had provisions for recycling.
There were many discussions of government and social issues
with points of view ranging from anarchistic to totalitarian.
To the space settlement home page.
author: Al Globus.
WebWork: Al Globus,
Responsible Official: David Yip