“Experiment in Space” Competition
This science competition is out of this world...literally!


For the first time in Kuwait, students are being given the opportunity to create an experiment that could be launched and conducted on the International Space Station (ISS). The winning experiment will be the first ever science experiment in space from Kuwait.
The challenge:
 
Propose an idea for an experiment to assess the impact of microgravity (the apparent absence of gravity, also called “weightlessness”) on a physical, chemical, or biological system. Research topics should be relevant to Kuwait. Topics could be within the following tracks:
 
  • Life Sciences:
    • Plant growth:
    • Physiology and life cycles of microorganisms (e.g. bacteria)
    • Cell biology and growth (e.g. stem cells, beta cells, bone/cartilage, immune system, etc.)
    • Marine/desert microorganisms
    • Insect behavior
    • Food digestion and metabolism
    • Medicines and drug therapy
  • Physical Sciences:
    • Crystal growth
    • Fluid dynamics
    • Corrosion
    • Nanotechnology

The experiment must fit within the size of a special 10 milliliter silicon tube known as “MixStix” (see image below).
 
 
The tube keeps fluids, materials, chemicals, biological materials separate but allows mixing once in space (mixing will be done by an astronaut on ISS). The tube can hold 8.4 milliliters of up to 3 substances separately and allow several mixing possibilities (mixing sequences). The substances can be fluid, gas, solid/powder. The tube will stay on the ISS for 30 days and then returned to Earth.
Why should you be excited about this competition?
 
  • Opportunity to learn how real scientists conduct their experiments.
  • You can explore a topic that interests you and learn about microgravity (weightlessness).
  • Learn how science experiments in space are conducted.
  • Understand how physical and biological processes are different in the absence of gravity.
  • The uniqueness of a microgravity environment can enable the development of something new which is not possible to be developed on Earth.
  • University Admissions departments love this! It’s also a great project to reference in job interviews.
Why this is done:
 
  • To encourage and empower students to develop, design and conduct sci-entific experiments
  • To increase awareness about space missions and space environment and its potential impact on Kuwait
Eligibility:
 
  • The competition is open to students from all schools and universities in Kuwait between the ages of 13 and 23 (by December 2019).
How to participate:
 
  • The life cycle of “Experiment in Space” project takes one year. Once the proposed idea has been selected, the experiment will be developed into a payload for a space mission over a period of 4 months with a target to be launched to space by fall 2020.
  • Participation can be individual or team based, and should include a mentor (teacher/university faculty member/scientist affiliated with a school or academic/research institution in Kuwait).
  • Come up with an idea for your experiment and fill out the application form below.
  • The application should include a signed letter from a mentor stating that:
  •  
     
    • The experiment idea was originated by the student(s), but with possible input sought and received from professional researcher.
    • The mentor is committed to mentor the individual/group throughout the different phases of scientific experiments (hypothesis formulation, experiment design, testing, analyzing data, drawing conclusions, and reporting results).
    • The application was prepared by the students with possible editorial input from the mentor.
Participants will be evaluated on their proposed idea based on various criteria such as:
 
  • Experiment objective and justification
  • Clarity and critical thinking
  • Creativity
  • Practicality/feasibility of the experiment within space mission constraints
  • Impact on society in Kuwait
All completed applications will be reviewed for compliance with the scope of the competition. The top 10 best ideas will be invited to give a presentation in front of a judging panel of experts. The experiment that gains the highest score will be the winner of this competition. The judges' decision in determining and selecting the winner is final. No appeal or attempts to appeal, review, dispute of such decision will be entertained.
Competition Timeline & Milestones:
 
  • Competition Launch and ideas submission – October 3, 2019
  • Info sessions and Q&A – Oct. 15, Nov. 5, and Nov. 19, 2019
  • Ideas submission deadline – December 8, 2019
  • Selection of Finalist – January 12, 2020
  • Development of the experiment and payload Feb. to June, 2019
  • Experiment sent to NASA – July, 2020
  • Experiment launched to ISS – August, 2020
Contact info:
info@orbitalspace.org
This competition is sponsored by Orbital Space as part of its efforts to promote interest in science and technology among the youth of Kuwait. It is enabled through an agreement with DreamUp PBC and Nanoracks LLC, which are working with NASA under a Space Act Agreement.
Orbital Space is the first private company in the Middle East to provide access to space just outside planet Earth. We aim to provide the tools and know how to make space accessible for all. We believe that the right understanding and technological edge can lead humanity towards a successful future. To find out more about us please visit www.orbital-space.com