Posted: Friday, July 18, 2003
Clear Creek High School of League City, Texas, was proclaimed the winner of the 10th Annual International Space Settlement Design Competition held at Kennedy Space Center, Fla., for its design of a human settlement on the planet Mars. Members of the Boeing -sponsored group beat out seven other teams for the coveted honor.
Screams, shouts and other sounds of joy from the Clear Creek students filled the Kennedy Space Center visitors complex when the announcement was made Monday evening. Though tired after three days and more than 44 hours of competing against seven other high school finalist teams from Colorado, California, Florida, Maryland and Australia to design a Mars settlement, the Clear Creek team could not contain its exuberance.
"I was so thankful because I had been to previous competitions, and we had not won. But this was overwhelming," says Evan Sattem, Clear Creek High School team president and entering junior. "It was a great experience."
This year marked the fifth time Clear Creek represented the state at the competition, which was held July 12-14. The local nine-member team had alternate students from Houston-area Cypress Fairbanks, Memorial and Carnegie Vanguard high schools.
Clear Creek team coaches Chula Bryant and Camille Sullivan say they are proud and appreciate the hard work that the students put into the competition.
"Boeing has sponsored us for the past five years," said Bryant. "Thanks to the company's continued encouragement and the students' determination, the team made the grade, as it were. Victory truly is sweet." Headquartered in Houston, Clear Creek team sponsor Boeing NASA Systems is a business unit of Boeing Integrated Defense Systems.
The eight teams were paired, given corporate identities and asked to compete against each other for the best settlement design proposal. Each paired team acted as an independent aerospace company vying for a contract to design a settlement on Mars.
Clear Creek was paired with students from Whitney High School in Cerritos, Calif., to form the fictitious company of Dougeldyne AstroSystems & Flechtel Constructors. Each member of the winning paired team received a trophy, engraved medal and a certificate.
Individuals worked within a realistic industry organizational chart, and space industry professionals volunteered to serve as "CEO" of each of the fictional companies for the competition. The contest emulates, as closely as possible, the experience of working on an industry proposal team with participants utilizing engineering, technical and management skills. Additionally, the students had to use sound science to support their design.
Jon Zelon, long-time Clear Creek team mentor and Boeing International Space Station manager, says, "We are all exited. I've been doing this with these guys for five years, so it's always nice when you can win one. Saying that I am proud still doesn't completely convey how I truly feel."
The annual international competition was sponsored by the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics (AIAA), an organization dedicated to advancing the arts, sciences, and aeronautics and astronautics technology. To qualify, student teams submitted proposals earlier this year for a space settlement orbiting in the asteroid belt between Mars and Jupiter. The written entries were reviewed and judged by engineers from AIAA.
A unit of The Boeing Company, Integrated Defense Systems is one of the world's largest space and defense businesses. Headquartered in St. Louis, Boeing Integrated Defense Systems is a $25 billion business. It provides systems solutions to its global military, government and commercial customers. It is a leading provider of intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance; the world's largest military aircraft manufacturer; the world's largest satellite manufacturer and a leading provider of space-based communications; the primary systems integrator for U.S. missile defense; NASA's largest contractor; and a global leader in launch services.
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