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WHEN and WHERE the Program Will Take Place

Participation begins with your decision to compete and ends with our receipt of your team's Outreach Plan program products, which are due by June 22, 2001.

Finalist Teams Selection (January 2001)

A Peer Review Committee, consisting of representatives of NASA, industry and universities, will select from among the proposals received six student teams to participate as Finalists in the NMB'01 competition. The Committee will assess each proposal according the following criteria:

  • Presence, strength and depth of an up-to-ten page essay describing a proposed "NASA Mars Customer Engagement Architecture;"

  • Ability of team to form strategic alliances (e.g., partnerships with advertising agencies, news media organizations, etc.) and describe how they will be useful and effective;

  • Presentation of team members' credentials (students, professors, mentors, etc.);

  • Institutional and community resources obtained in support of the team's proposal-writing and post-selection activities (e.g., course credit, coverage of expenses, local publicity, community outreach support, etc.);

  • Presence of an Outreach Plan to implement effective strategies for team to transfer experience and knowledge gained through participation in the NMB'01 program to other audiences, including faculty and students in all levels of education as well as the general public; and,

  • Presence of a formal, written commitment of the proposing team's home institution and/or other qualified organization (e.g., National Space Grant state consortium, corporate underwriter, etc.) to arrange for funding to cover all costs associated with its participation, except those covered by NASA Means Business for travel to the Third Annual NASA Customer Engagement Conference in Houston (see below).

We strongly encourage teams from underrepresented institutions to submit proposals.

Review Criteria Weighting

Reviewers will assign to each proposal a numerical score of 1-10 (10 being the highest) in each of two categories -- "Technical/Procedural" and "Outreach."

The weighted average of those two scores will constitute an overall score, which will be used to rank-order the proposals received. "Technical/Procedural" will comprise 70% of this score; "Outreach", 30%. Selection of the participating teams will be made according to the teams' rankings based on their overall scores.

Finalists' Competition (Spring 2001 Semester)

From the best of the work set forth in the proposal essays, NASA will publish a single Mars Exploration Customer Engagement Architecture (Version 1). This document will specify the framework within which the Finalist teams must develop User Requirements, which will occur during the Spring 2001 semester.

In addition, once the six Finalist teams have been selected, each will be partnered with key scientists, engineers, and administrators in NASA and/or the aerospace industry, who will act as information sources or mentors. They will also provide access to other professional NASA and industry personnel who will share with each team useful information and experiences.

Third Annual NASA Customer Engagement Conference (May 2001)

NASA will convene the Third Annual Customer Engagement Conference at the Johnson Space Center in Houston from May 22-24, 2001. An overall "Grand Prize" Recipient will be selected and announced at the Conference. Selection will be based on how well each team's entire work effort responds to the criteria set forth in the Finalist Teams Selection section (above).

In addition to providing a forum for the presentation of each student team's work, this conference will be structured to allow useful dialogue among NASA, industry and university community professionals; provide status reports on the progress of exploration missions and programs; and introduce updates on new systems, technologies and approaches to the human exploration and development of space.

Students may also expect to initiate relationships at the conference that could ultimately lead to professional employment opportunities.

Outreach Program Implementation (The Entire Program Period)

Each team must undertake and complete an Outreach Program, the details of which are to be set forth in its proposal. At a minimum, and Outreach Program must include (a) a Team Web Site, which must be in operation within two (2) weeks of receiving notice that the team has been selected as an NMB'01 Finalist, and (b) a Final Report of 40 pages or less in length (at least 12 pt. typeface). In addition, the contents of the web site must be described in the proposal.

Each team will be judged on its (proposed) Outreach Program Plan (see Review Criteria Weighting, above). In past programs, teams have undertaken real-time and videotaped presentations, interactive CD programs, mall kiosks, and other creative outreach activities.


NASA Means Business Student Competition 2001 is sponsored by NASA and is administered by Texas Space Grant Consortium.


Last Modified: Mon Nov 13, 2000