News Release

Inspiring Curiosity Challenge Brings Science to Houston Students

HOUSTON, Oct. 28, 2016 – The science and space learning center Space Center Houston is partnering with KHOU 11 on the educationally focused Inspiring Curiosity contest to help teachers engage students for a career in science, technology, engineering and mathematics.

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Teachers throughout the Houston area continue to develop new STEM projects to challenge the next generation of innovators. The Inspiring Curiosity contest offers Space Center Houston teacher scholarships with a $3,700 total value and $8,000 in total prize money to help make these big ideas possible. The grand prize winner will be announced on KHOU 11 News during the week of Dec. 12.

Today’s youth may be the first to walk on Mars. This contest will provide teachers with financial support to implement rigorous STEM curricula. Through STEM activities, students will think critically, have a better understanding of the world and get inspired to become an astronaut, scientist or engineer.

A panel of judges will select one semifinalist from each grade-level category: Kindergarten-second, third-fifth, sixth-eighth and ninth-12th. The finalists will be determined based on the following criteria: (25 percent) Incorporation of STEM Theme; (25 percent) Classroom Participation; (25 percent) Originality and Creativity; and (25 percent) Style and Visual Appeal.

Beginning Nov. 28, people will vote for their favorite Inspiring Curiosity video on the KHOU 11 Facebook page (www.facebook.com/khou11). The video with the most votes will be the grand-prize winner of $5,000.  The remaining three finalists each will receive a $1,000 prize.

All four finalists each will receive a Space Center Houston scholarship to the 23rd Space Exploration Educators Conference Feb. 9-11.  The three-day STEM conference is an immersive learning experience with rocket scientists, astronauts and renowned educators from across the country.

The grand prize winner also will choose one of the following:

  • Three scholarships (one teacher plus two students ages 14-18) to Space Center Houston’s five-day engineering program Space Center U™, a weeklong immersive, STEM learning experience that teaches students about space exploration and traveling to and sustaining life upon a distant planet.
  • Three Space Center Houston Distance Learning sessions for grades second through 12th. These hands-on remote videoconferencing sessions teach students about spacesuits and rocketry amongst the real things – actual spacesuits and flown Mercury, Gemini and Apollo capsules.

To learn more about the Inspiring Curiosity contest, visit www.spacecenter.org.

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The Manned Space Flight Education Foundation is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit science and space learning center with extensive educational programs. Space Center Houston is the cornerstone of its mission to inspire all generations through the wonders of space exploration. The center draws 1 million visitors annually, was called “The Big Draw” by USA Today and generates a $73 million annual economic impact on the greater Houston area. Space Center Houston is Houston’s first and only Smithsonian Affiliate and the Official Visitor Center of NASA Johnson Space Center. More than 100,000 teachers and students from around the world visit the center annually to take part in extraordinary learning opportunities. For more information, go to www.spacecenter.org.

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