Press Release

High School Students Use Innovation, Entrepreneurship to Solve Real World Challenges

By SpaceRef Editor
September 20, 2010
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Backed by Aerospace Innovators Lockheed Martin Corporation and NASA-Ames Research Center, The Spirit of Innovation Awards Promotes Science & Technology through Project-Based Learning

SAN FRANCISCO – The Conrad Foundation’s annual Spirit of Innovation Awards program is underway with unprecedented support from aerospace leader Lockheed Martin. Student teams will be tasked with designing innovative products using science and technology that address real world challenges. Top teams are invited to attend the Innovation Summit in April of 2011, hosted at NASA Ames Research Center, where they will participate in workshops and present their ideas to some of the world’s leading minds in science, business, government, media, and academia.

“Our students are tomorrow’s workforce. By tapping into a broad coalition of world-renowned scientists and industry leaders to give them the tools they need to succeed, we can help shape these young minds to propel an innovative, knowledge-driven economy into the 21st century,” said Nancy Conrad, founder of the Conrad Foundation.

How it works: Young minds inventing future technologies With support from teachers and mentors, student teams design commercially viable products that address real-world concerns in a handful of categories:

– Aerospace Exploration – Create an innovative product for use in aerospace exploration. Presented by sponsor and partner Lockheed Martin Corporation.

– Renewable Energy – Create a product using renewable energy, energy efficiency or energy storage technology to change everyday life.

– Cyber Security – Create a smart phone app to make us more aware of and protected from potential threats around us.

“The Conrad Foundation’s program is unique because it represents a holistic technology development process. Foundation mentors continue to work with the students to move their ideas forward,” said Dr. Ray O. Johnson, Lockheed Martin Corporation Senior Vice President and Chief Technology Officer. “We are pleased to be supporting the creation of valuable science and technology solutions for our future. The Spirit of Innovation Program is paving the way for these future entrepreneurs to make a difference on a global scale.”

Conrad Foundation program partners Sigma Xi, American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics, Alliance for Climate Protection, and the National Science Teachers Association will assist teams with expert guidance and resources.

Any team of students aged 13 to 18 years can enter the Spirit of Innovation Awards. The entry deadline is Dec. 17, 2010. To learn more about competing or participating, visit the Conrad Foundation awards web portal at

About The Conrad Foundation

The Conrad Foundation is a not-for-profit foundation designed to energize and engage students in science and technology through project-based learning and the introduction of the lessons of entrepreneurship into the classroom environment. The Foundation builds upon the legacy of Apollo astronaut Pete Conrad, the commander of Apollo 12 and the third man to walk on the moon. By enabling young minds to connect education, innovation and entrepreneurship, the Conrad Foundation provides a bold platform for enriching imagination and innovative thinking.


Media Contact:
Julie Arnold, Griffin Communications Group
Office: (321) 773- 3841; Mobile: (321) 537-1228;

SpaceRef staff editor.