3SixtyGrados

Innovation, fashion, design and philosophy from around the world

LEGO and NASA developing innovation for future generations

Source: LEGO Brickset

Source: LEGO Brickset

It is a fact that Lego is one of the coolest companies in the world. If you don’t agree, I’m sorry, but you had no childhood.

Besides producing one of the most fun and educational toys available on the market, they develop various side projects related to innovation and education. One of these we have already commented here at 3Sixty, the International School of Billund.

But did you know that recently the LEGO Group and NASA finalized a two years experiment in the Internation Space Station? The project was called NLO-Education-2. The main objective was to develop innovative educational materials and/or activities to promote student interest in technical or scientific careers. This partnership was designed to support NASA’s exploration in educational programs, technologies, science and aeronautics. Working in the ISS provided the unique learning environment of microgravity to promote student interest in science, technology, engineering and mathematics. To accomplish this task, LEGO Bricks kits were flown on board the International Space Station. Crewmembers performed tasks to demonstrate simple science concepts and how Lego Bricks work differently in a microgravity environment. LEGO also developed a website where all on-orbit video and corresponding activities can be downloaded. This information can be accessed at Lego Space.

Along the same lines, on July 5 it was launched a design and build Contest. Again NASA and LEGO have teamed up to inspire the next generation of aerospace engineers by offering a new design competition. The competition will spur students of all ages to use the toy bricks in building future models of airplanes and spacecraft.
NASA and the LEGO Group are partnering to inspire the next generation of aerospace engineers by offering a new design competition. The competition will spur students of all ages to use the toy bricks in building models of future airplanes and spacecraft.

The deadline to apply to NASA’s Missions: Imagine and Build is July 31. Winners in each category will be selected by a panel of NASA and LEGO officials and announced Sept. 1.
The first category in the contest is “Inventing our Future of Flight.” In this challenge, participants will design and build their idea for an aircraft of the future based on real concepts and new technology NASA’s aeronautics innovators are working on to increase fuel efficiency and reduce harmful emissions and noise.

This category divides entrants into two groups: young student builders ages 13 to 18 and an open group for anyone age 13 and older. The two winners will receive a custom-made LEGO trophy and a collection of NASA memorabilia.
The second contest category is “Imagine our Future Beyond Earth.” In this challenge, participants will use their imaginations to design and build a futuristic vehicle from LEGO bricks that might travel through the air or in space. It could be an airplane, rotorcraft, rocket, spacecraft, satellite, rover or something else. The design can be based in reality or purely a flight of fancy. This competition is open to entrants 16 or older. The grand prize is a LEGO set signed by the set’s designer and a collection of NASA memorabilia. There also is a runner up prize.

You cand find the complete rules and guidelines for participating here and here.

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