Charles “Pete” Conrad, Jr. was an astronaut, innovator, and entrepreneur. His wife Nancy created the Conrad Spirit of Innovation Challenge in his honor. The goal of this yearly innovation and entrepreneurial competition that connects students and mentors is to develop creative ideas for viable solutions that will benefit the world in: Aerospace & Aviation, Cyber Technology & Security, Energy and Environment, and Health & Nutrition.
Examples of specific areas of innovation across these categories include avionics, propulsion systems, artificial intelligence, smart security technologies, renewable resources, bio diversity, prosthetics, and hunger solutions.
Teams compete for the chance to attend the Innovation Summit at the Kennedy Space Center and to be honored as Pete Conrad Scholars and Power Pitch Winners. Teams consisting of high school students (age 13-18) are eligible to receive seed funding grants, investment opportunities, patent support, business services, scholarships, and other opportunities to turn their solution into functioning businesses.
An Online Collaboration Community
An added incentive to participate in the Conrad Challenge is that it includes an online community of students, educators, and mentors who share an interest in innovating to improve the future. Teams can swap ideas, tips, and encouragement as they advance through the online contest software. The online community is available exclusively to participants.
Awarding Outstanding Ideas
Winners in the 2016 Conrad Spirit of Innovation Challenge included insightful concepts from teams around the world.
Aerospace & Aviation
Pete Conrad Scholars: Team Noodles – Sixth Sense Helmet, Hankuk Academy of Foreign Studies, South Korea
Power Pitch Winner: Simple Planar – Tranquil Air, North Carolina School of Science and Mathematics
Cyber Technology & Security
Pete Conrad Scholars: Kosmos – MediKey, Thomas Jefferson High School
Power Pitch Winner: OptiSecure – oSight, North Carolina School of Science and Mathematics
Energy & Environment
Pete Conrad Scholars: HighHoi – Economical PEMFC, Kamnoetvidya Science Academy, Thailand
Power Pitch Winners: Firebird – NaSoPod, Seisen International School, Tokyo, Japan AND KillaWatt – PowerOff, East Chapel Hill High School
Health & Nutrition
Pete Conrad Scholars: Team ILM – DStress, North Hills High School
Power Pitch Winner: Enlighten – Lumos Mobile Application, St. John’s Anglican College Australia
An Innovation Competition that Reaches for the Stars
The Conrad Spirit of Innovation Challenge encourages students to push their imagination to the limit. We salute that goal, as that’s what our online contest management is all about here at Skild. Congratulations to the 2016 winners!