Science and Exploration

ManSat helps Conrad Foundation expand annual STEM competition

By Marc Boucher
February 7, 2012
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ManSat helps Conrad Foundation expand annual STEM competition

Nancy Conrad, founder and chairman of the Conrad Foundation, announced that having Isle of Man-based ManSat as a Corporate Partner for the 2011-2012 Spirit of Innovation Challenge has helped grow the competition beyond U.S. borders with a total of 60 teams from the Isle of Man registering this year.
The Spirit of Innovation Challenge invites student teams from across America to use science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) skills to develop commercially viable products addressing real-world issues in one of the following categories – Aerospace Exploration, Clean Energy, and Health and Nutrition.

“Increasing student interest in STEM is critical to our future ability to support real-world issues, such as preserving the planet, discovering cures for diseases and exploring the universe,” said ManSat Chairman and CEO Chris Stott.

ManSat first invited the Conrad Foundation to the Isle of Man in fall 2010 to present the Spirit of Innovation Challenge to its schools. With three teams traveling to California to present at the 2011 Innovation Summit, the company was so impressed that it sponsored a trip for Jennifer Fotherby, executive director of the Spirit of Innovation Challenge, to travel to the island to generate participation among students and teachers for this year’s competition.

The effort paid off, with seven Isle of Man teams advancing to the semi-finalist round.

“Of the 81 semi-finalist teams we named, nearly 10 percent hail from the Isle of Man,” said Fotherby. “Having such an outstanding turnout from the Isle of Man in our second year of collaboration speaks volumes about the students’ abilities. This wouldn’t have been possible without ManSat’s outstanding commitment and support to our program.”

The semi-finalists are vying for one of the top 15 finalist positions, which will qualify them to advance to the 2012 Innovation Summit, hosted at NASA-Ames Research Center (Moffitt Field, Calif.) in March where they will present their innovations and compete for awards and commercialization opportunities. Finalists will be named by Feb. 16, 2012.

About The Conrad Foundation

The Conrad Foundation is a not-for-profit organization dedicated to fundamentally shifting how science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) are taught in K-12 schools. Founded in 2008, the organization is based on the rich legacy of the late Apollo 12 astronaut and entrepreneur, Charles “Pete” Conrad, the third man to walk on the Moon. Pete got his “Moon shot” because an educator took him under his wing and guided him to a future of possibilities.
Nancy Conrad, Pete’s wife and an education activist, launched the Conrad Foundation to continue this tradition of mentoring students and steering them toward their own unique “Moon shot.” For more information, visit

About ManSat

Established in 1998, ManSat is a partnership of aerospace, banking, financial services, strategic consulting and international legal interests that have come together to offer unique business services to the world’s commercial space marketplace. Headquartered on the Isle of Man, the company also has offices in London and Houston. For more information, visit

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Jessica Ballard
Griffin Communications Group
Office: 281-335-0200

SpaceRef co-founder, entrepreneur, writer, podcaster, nature lover and deep thinker.