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San Jacinto College
News Release
Thursday, February 16, 2012

San Jacinto College and NASA team up for Space Settlement Design Competition

PASADENA, Texas — San Jacinto College (SJC) is collaborating with NASA – Johnson Space Center (JSC) for the 14th annual Space Settlement Design Competition that brings high school students together from across the country for space exploration activities during National Engineers Week. 

Set for March 16-18, the competition emulates the experience of working as a member of an aerospace industry proposal team. The event features an industry simulation game set in the later years of the 21st century. The theme of the competition is related to the vision of space exploration. The proposal requirements of the Space Settlement design differ for each competition. Participants from Iowa, Nebraska, South Dakota, and Texas are scheduled to compete in the event.  

"The experience of participating in a Space Settlement Design Competition teaches young people optimism for the future, technical competence, management skills, knowledge of space environments and resources, appreciation for relationships between technical products and human use, teamwork, and techniques for preparing effective documentation," said Bridget Kramer, project coordinator with the San Jacinto College Aerospace Academy. “It requires students to integrate their knowledge of and utilize skills in space science, physics, math, chemistry, environmental science, biology, computer science, writing, speaking, art, and common sense."

The Iowa Northwest Area Education Agency will send 140 students to the competition, and approximately 40 students from southeast Texas will compete as well. Texas students participate by invitation and must register on a database maintained by the Iowa organizers. The blend of rural Iowa students with the more urban Texas students provides a unique and stimulating learning and team building environment, said Kramer.

A subset of 12 members of the winning company from the NASA – JSC competition will be invited to participate at NASA – JSC this July in the International Space Settlement Design Competition Finals. 

"San Jacinto College has become a partner in the organization and management of the Space Settlement Design Competition for 2012 in order to begin assuming the planning, organization, and implementation tasks of this year's event and subsequent years," said Norman Chaffee with student programs at NASA – JSC. "This will help to preserve the program in future years after the original organizers are no longer available to participate."

The competition is sponsored and underwritten by the local Houston-area aerospace companies, the State of Iowa Education Department, and the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics-Houston Section. The Johnson Space Center provides the competition venues and in-kind support.

For more information about the 14th annual Space Settlement Design Competition, contact Bridget Kramer at, 281-244-6803.

About San Jacinto College

Surrounded by monuments of history, industries and maritime enterprises of today, and the space age of tomorrow, San Jacinto College has been serving the citizens of East Harris County, Texas, for more than 50 years. The Achieving the Dream Leader College is committed to the goals and aspirations of a diverse population of 30,000 students in more than 200 degree and certificate options, including university transfer and career preparation. Students also benefit from the College’s job training programs, renowned for meeting the needs of growing industries in the region. San Jacinto College graduates contribute nearly $630 million each year to the Texas workforce. San Jacinto College. Your Goals. Your College.

For more information about San Jacinto College, please call 281-998-6150, visit, or follow us on Facebook at

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