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+ Dates, Eligibility, and Resources | + Submission Requirements | + Evaluation Criteria |
+ Contest Q&A
| + Awards | + Past Awardees

Evaluation Criteria   Under no circumstances should students copy the words or ideas of others without proper documentation. If students use ideas or words of others, they should give credit to their source of information using a standard reference or footnote format. Papers submitted with plagiarized material will be disqualified. 

Alert:  Recently, a competing team asked for a review of their draft paper by NASA engineers.  This is not allowed and is grounds for disqualification.  Student teams may NOT consult with NASA engineers, employees, past competitors, or anyone doing contract or grant work in this area.    Students must show that their work is original and that only students were part of the design process.  The faculty advisor should verify that the work is original, done entirely by the students, and is free of plagiarism. 

Final Entry Due:  EXTENDED TO June 12, 2017 to assist colleges with later spring semester end dates.

Entries will be scored on how well they have focused their paper and how well they have addressed all aspects of the problem they chose to address. A panel of NASA reviewers with expertise in the area of the challenge will read and score each entry.   The panel will then do a second review and discussion of top scoring papers before a final ranking is determined.

Scores will be assigned for each of the criteria (not listed in order of point value): writing and organization, literature review, innovation/creativity; discussion of feasibility; baseline comparison with relevant current technology, system, or design; point by point detailed discussion of their design.  A typical score sheet is linked below.

Award level entries will be well written, well organized, thorough and concise.

In past contests, papers that have plagiarized material have been disqualified from further review. It is never acceptable to put forth the ideas or the work of others without giving them credit.

Note: the body of the paper is limited to 25 pages and is the only part of the entry that will be scored.  NOTHING in the Appendices will be counted toward the scores. Therefore, put all of the required elements of the paper into the 25 page limit; do not refer reviewers to an appendix for critical parts of the paper.

Typical Design Contest Score Sheet