If you’re between the ages of 6 and 18, want to code, and are interested in NASA’s work, the Imagine Cup Earth competition is for you! Using data collected by NASA plus Microsoft’s free, online developer tools for students, you can compete to win one of six cash prizes.
There are two categories: Intermediate participants—those with coding experience and knowledge—build apps or games about an earth science topic using real NASA data. Beginner participants—those that have never coded before—pull inspiration from one of four NASA Earth data articles to design an earth science-themed game, app or simulation.
First Place Winner – $3,000: Ode to the Tuna by Daniel
Daniel, a 15-year old from Mexico, designed a fun, highly detailed game with Project Spark. The player first selects one of five ship models, customizes its color scheme and then has 12 minutes to catch as many tuna as possible. Each time you encounter a school of tuna, you must beat a mini-game (like moving the right stick back and forth as quickly as possible or entering the proper button sequence). How well you do in the mini-game determines how many fish you catch. Our judges really enjoyed the cool graphics and the gameplay’s complexity.
Second Place Winner – $2000: Let there be light! by Medhansh
Eight-year old Medhansh from India says, “An economy can only prosper if mankind gives equal importance to development as well as the ecological welfare of our Planet Earth.” Medhansh, using Project Spark, drove this point home with a timed, third-person world-building game where players must develop a civilization while carefully balancing industry and agriculture and maintaining air quality. The judges liked how much the game emphasized strategic, sustainable thinking!
Third Place Winner – $1,000: Nutrient-Rich Waters for Fish by Roofid
Roofid, a 16-year old from Indonesia, used Kodu to build a game that tasked players with a timed rescue mission. Controlling a small sea-faring pod, you navigate through narrow channels to transport fish from low-nutrient waters to nutrient-rich water. The judges thought Roofid did a great job visualizing the issue of eddies in the Tasman Sea.
First Place Winner – $3,000: Project Vision by Simran
Simran of India developed an application that uses data from NASA to predict algae growth in the Bay of Bengal. Our judges liked the high interactivity of the app, including its predictive question-and-answer sidebar and the variety of environmental conditions (like the temperature and salt content of the water) that users could manipulate.
Second Place Winner – $2,000: AlgaeRush by Peter
Third Place Winner – $1,000: Algaetion by Omar
Omar of Saudi Arabia used data from NASA and Forest Monitoring for Action (FORMA), hosted on Microsoft Azure, to create an informative application that allows users to adjust map settings to view specific months of algal growth and deforestation. Our judges particularly liked how Omar provided educational resources about the relationship between deforestation and algae growth and its overall impact on the environment. Without forests to decrease the amount of carbon dioxide (CO2) in the air, the excess CO2 encourages algae blooms. Too much of the wrong kind of algae can harm the surrounding ecosystem.
The judges were thrilled by the dedication, thought and innovation these Imagine Cup Earth winners put into their apps and games. And thanks to all of our participants! There’s still a chance to win, so join our third round of Imagine Cup Earth. Registration closes on June 15, 2016, so sign up today!
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