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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 Final Report, which is due by June 7, 2002.

Finalist Teams Selection (Finalists' Announcement: December 12, 2001)

A Peer Review Committee, consisting of representatives of NASA, industry and universities, will select from among the proposals received up to six student teams to participate as Finalists in the NMB'02 competition. The Committee will assess each proposal according the following criteria:

  • Presence, strength, depth and "understandability" of an up-to-twenty page essay describing why NASA's 20-year Mars Exploration Program is important to everyday people. We are particularly interested in work that clearly articulates in everyday language what the Mars missions will accomplish and why they are important to everyday life. All missions in the 20-year Mars Exploration Program should be included, with particular emphasis on the Mars Express, 2003 Mars Exploration Rovers and the 2005 Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter missions. We encourage you to write from the perspective(s) represented on your team; for example, marketing students construct marketing themes, journalism students construct journalistic pieces, etc. Again, the formation of interdisciplinary teams is encouraged.

  • Ability of the team to form strategic alliances (e.g., partnerships with advertising agencies, news media organizations, etc.) with a description of how they will be useful and effective in the team's activities;

  • 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 the team to transfer the experience and knowledge it gained through participation in the NMB'02 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 NMB '02 for travel to the Fourth 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 2002 Semester)

At the beginning of the Spring 2002 semester, the Finalists' Competition will begin with the following activities:

  • The Finalist Teams will be given a set of format and content parameters within which to prepare their Mars Exploration Customer Engagement Program Plans. The purpose of this step is to provide a framework that ensures that the Finalists' work will "fit into" established NASA mission planning practices, while providing the broadest creative latitude within those practices.

  • Judging criteria will be published.

  • Each of the six Finalist Teams will be partnered with key scientists, engineers, and administrators in NASA and/or the aerospace industry, who will act as information sources or mentors. These NASA contacts will also provide access to other professional NASA and industry personnel as required by each team.

During the week of March 11, 2002, each team will deliver a presentation of work to date at a "Midpoint Videoconference" with NASA program officials. The principal purpose of these videoconferences is to help each team refine its effort based on the officials' responses. The videoconferences will be confidential in that no information about what any Finalist Team is doing will be shared with any other team.

Fourth Annual NASA Customer Engagement Conference (May 7-9, 2002)

NASA will convene the Fourth Annual Customer Engagement Conference at the Johnson Space Center in Houston from May 7-9, 2002. A Grand Prize Recipient will be selected and announced at the Conference. Judging will be based on how well each team's entire work effort responds to the criteria to be set forth at the beginning of the Spring 2002 semester.

In addition to providing a forum for the presentation of each student team's work, the Conference will be structured to allow 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. Outreach activities are those that communicate a team's work to, and thereby engage, a variety of audiences, including the university community, school children, community leaders and the public at large.

Teams are encouraged to apply a great deal of originality in the design of their proposed Outreach activities. In past programs, teams have undertaken a broad range of activities, including real-time and videotaped presentations, interactive CD programs and mall kiosks.

A team web site is a mandatory element of each team's Outreach Program. Within two weeks of receiving notice that it has been selected as an NMB'02 Finalist Team (if not sooner), a team must publish its site on the Internet. The contents of the web site must be described in the team's proposal.

NMB'02 Wrap Up (Deadline: June 7, 2002)

NMB '02 will officially end on June 7, 2002, which is the deadline for the submission by each team of its Final Report. The Final Report is to consist of electronic copies of all work done. This includes a team's Program Plan, Conference presentations, web site source files, and a full review of its completed and ongoing Outreach Program actities.


NASA Means Business Student Competition 2002 is sponsored by NASA and is administered by Texas Space Grant Consortium.


Last Modified: Mon Sept 10, 2001