Former astronaut Leland Melvin encourages students to persevere as they continue to build and test their rockets

PASADENA, CA, June 26, 2019 /24-7PressRelease/ — Base 11 announced the winners of the prizes for Phase 1 — the design phase — of the Base 11 Space Challenge, a student rocketry competition with more than $1 million in prizes on the line, and the ultimate goal to increase diversity in the aerospace workforce. On Monday, $50,000 in prizes were awarded to rocketry teams from University of Michigan (first place), Concordia University (second place), and Portland State University (third place). A separate $1 million purse ultimately will go to the first university team to build a liquid-fuel rocket that successfully reaches space.

The awards were presented at Caltech during a day-long event for students, academics, corporate leaders and aerospace recruiters that featured a keynote by former NASA astronaut Leland Melvin. In addition to serving as an awards ceremony, the event kicked off Base 11’s “Next Frontier Tour.” Over the next 18 months, Melvin will speak at four more sites across the country to inspire students, academic institutions, and corporate partners to come together to increase diversity in the workforce of emerging industries like aerospace and data science.

Thirty-two teams registered for the Base 11 Space Challenge last year, and 25 teams submitted their preliminary design reports for Phase 1 of the competition this spring. Those reports were evaluated by expert judges from Blue Origin, SpaceX, Reaction Research Society and Tripoli Rocketry Association. The top five teams were present to pitch their plans for outreach, fundraising, and succession planning for their rocketry programs on Monday at the Next Frontier event.

“I was inspired by the incredible amount of energy and passion from our future explorers,” said Melvin. “Congratulations to the Phase I winners in the Base 11 Space Challenge. You’ve set a high bar, but this competition is far from over, and I can’t wait to see how you creatively overcome challenges in the next year.”

Phase 1 Winners:
1st Place ($25,000) — University of Michigan
2nd Place ($15,000) — Concordia University
3rd Place ($10,000) — Portland State University
Honorable mentions: University of British Columbia and University of California, San Diego
Early Adopter Dassault Systèmes 3DEXPERIENCE 1st Place ($5,000) — Portland State University
Early Adopter Dassault Systèmes 3DEXPERIENCE 2nd Place ($2,500) — Concordia University

“The judges were deeply impressed by the outstanding work the student teams put into their rocket designs for Phase 1 of the Base 11 Space Challenge,” said Landon Taylor, chairman and CEO of Base 11. “If this first year has taught us anything, it’s how exciting and unpredictable this field is — the boldest goals, the greatest innovations, the strongest determination can come from unexpected places.”

The Space Challenge is supported by a number of engineering and aerospace companies that care about increasing diversity in the STEM workforce. Dassault Systemes is a Chairman’s Circle Partner, providing both financial support and granting licenses for all of the teams to use their 3DEXPERIENCE platform to design and collaborate on the project. Blue Origin, SpaceX and Firefly Aerospace are all Platinum Level Partners.

Base 11 is a non-profit public benefit corporation focused on empowering high-potential, low-resource community college students with hands-on education and training in STEM-related enterprises. Base 11 partners with community colleges and their feeder high schools to provide high-potential, low-resource students with real-world training, experience and mentorship in STEM-related enterprises, delivering to employers a prerecruitment pipeline of well-trained, highly skilled STEM employees and entrepreneurs. For more information, please visit www.Base11.com. Base 11 is a DBA of the Center for Innovations in Education, a non-profit 501(c) 3 – IRS exemption EIN# 26- 4365936.


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