SCVi, iLEAD’s founding school, will welcome Dr. Jacob Cohen, Chief Scientist at NASA Ames Research Center, to campus on Friday to kick off the school’s inaugural International Hack Into Space Competition, the school announced Thursday.
The design sprint-like event challenges entrepreneurially-minded young learners in grades six through 12 to gather in small groups, respond to a problem about space colonization, and pitch and present their ideas. A panel of judges will select the winning team at the conclusion of the day.
The event kicks off at 8:30 a.m. and wraps up at 12:45 p.m. with a brief awards ceremony. Dr. Cohen will serve as the event’s keynote speaker and is slated to speak at 12:10 p.m. All events will be held in the school’s Café at its campus at 28060 Hasley Canyon Road in Castaic.
The competition is part of iLEAD Student Aerospace Projects (iSAP), iLEAD Schools’ Science Accelerator Mission, which tasks students with developing products to meet the challenges of colonizing the moon and Mars, said Kathleen Fredette, Director of STEAM Initiatives at iLEAD Schools. This year’s Science Accelerator teams, which are comprised of American and Israeli high school students, will present their innovations at the event starting at 11:30 a.m. Their ideas will also be offered to scientists at NASA Ames Research Center in San Jose, Calif., on May 23.
The initiative, presented in partnership with Out Of The Box and sponsored by the Israeli Ministry of Science, underscores the need for innovation and international collaboration among STEAM educators and learners. Earlier this spring, a group of iLEAD learners traveled abroad to participate in Israeli Space Week – which included a presentation by legendary American astronaut Scott Kelly – at Tel Aviv University as part of the partnership. While in Israel, the students also attended a roundtable discussion on international STEAM collaborations at the U.S. embassy.
During the week of May 20, SCVi families will host a delegation of eight Israeli students who will also participate in the Hackathon event on Friday.