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NASA Means Business Student Competition (annual)

NASA Means Business Student Competition is a national program that directly involves a wide range of university students ranging from business students to space science students in real NASA programs and missions. Six (6) student teams will be chosen to develop an "architecture" and "user requirements" for integrating NASA "Customer Engagement" processes into NASA's Mars mission planning.

Selected teams will also receive cash awards of $1,000, travel grants to Johnson Space Center to present their work, and international recognition for their contributions to NASA's Mars exploration planning effort. NASA Means Business Student Competition is designed around the Spring academic semester calendar.

Details regarding NASA Means Business Student Competition are located at

NASA Aeronautics Competition

The Fundamental Aeronautics Program of the Aeronautics Research Mission Directorate at NASA Headquarters announces a new aeronautics competition for high school and college students for the 2007-2008 academic year. Students are asked to think about a next generation, all new DC-3* type of aircraft. College level students are invited to design the aircraft, using guidelines provided by NASA, and suggest a minimum of three valid operational scenarios for their proposed vehicle. Notice of Intent due by January 19, 2008. Final entry is due on or before April 30, 2008. Entries will be limited to a 25-page research paper, excluding ancillary material, and adhere to a standard format. Teams or individuals may enter. Complete details are available at

Robot Competitions for All Ages (annual)

For: All Ages
Fee: Free

Penn State Abington hosts a variety of robot competitions that are designed for all ages. Students get to build a robot that follows a trail, build a robot that will put out a flame, or build a robot that can play basketball. Competition deadlines vary. For more information, visit

SAILPLANE Project (ongoing)

The SAILPLANE project is part of the Aerospace Engineering course entitled Flight Vehicle Design (AERSP 204H/404H). Freshman through Senior students learn critical thinking and problem solving skills as they design and build parts of a sailplane. For more information or to get involved with the SAILPLANE project, contact Dr. Maughmer at

Mars Society (ongoing)

The Mars Society is an international grassroots organization dedicated to furthering the cause of human exploration and eventual colonization of Mars. The Penn State Chapter of the Mars Society was formed in the spring of 2002 with the vision of giving undergraduates a chance to perform research of relevance to the space community. To this end we are pursuing a project involving the design and construction of a rover serving as a testbed for human-rover interaction studies. Our primary focus is the development of a new control system based on hand gestures.

If you have an interest in space or want to gain the hands on experience of designing and building a rover, including all the electronics and software involved, we invite you to join the Mars Society. Everyone is welcome and no previous knowledge or experience is necessary. For more information about the Mars Society, please contact Dr. David B. Spencer at

Space Day at Penn State

For: All Ages
Fee: Free

Space Day at Penn State is a celebration of space science and exploration. Join us as we explore Earth, air and space research and education through poster displays, hands-on activities and presentations. The annual event is sponsored by the Pennsylvania Space Grant Consortium. For more information on Space Day, visit the Space Day website.

MentorNet: Connecting Women Students with Professionals (ongoing)

Are you interested in finding out more about what it's like out in the real world? Do you want to talk with a scientist or engineer working in industry? Check out MentorNet, a service that connects professionals with female students in science and engineering. MentorNet matches students with professional mentors who share resources, information and advice with their proteges via email, phone conversations and sometimes face-to-face meetings. For more information, visit

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Last Updated: November 5, 2007