Fresh off of the unveiling of their largest model ever — a Star Wars X-wing Starfighter — LEGO is now teaming up with the real-life space explorers, NASA, for a new design competition.
The “NASA’s Missions: Imagine and Build” challenge will allow individuals 13 and older to (using LEGOs, of course) design and build their own “aircraft of the future” based on actual NASA engineers’ designs and real-life challenges, such as reducing the environmental footprint of the craft and increasing fuel economy. And that’s just part of the competition category dubbed “Inventing our Future of Flight.”
Participants in that category will also be called on to show off their scientific and engineering chops by writing a technical paper to describe how their design leverages and, perhaps, improves on existing NASA tech. Participants will be split into two groups, those between 13 and 18 and larger group for those 13 and up. Winners — one for each group — get a custom LEGO trophy and NASA goodies.
The second category, “Imagine our Future Beyond Earth,” is for participants 16 years and older, calling on them to design a futuristic craft — space or air, it doesn’t matter — of some kind. Basically, if you can build it with LEGOs and make it look cool, go for it, albeit within this none-too-short list of rules and regulations. That list includes, but is not limited to, giving LEGO and NASA the right to refuse any military or weapons models, models containing “defamatory or degrading elements,” and those including toy parts not made by LEGO. So, leave your Erector Set and Lincoln Logs out.
Winners in this category get a LEGO set signed by the set designer and NASA goodies. The runner-up gets a yet-to-be-determined prize as well.
The competition is, not surprisingly, well-timed for the summer months, providing an opportunity for parents to cut down on the “I’m borrrred!” pronouncements and, perhaps, help their kids find a new, and potentially lucrative, passion.
Oh, and here’s more of that X-wing: