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What IF LogoAWB is partnering with the Ahoora Foundation of Plano, Texas, in the 2013 What If? Prize Competition, which is designed to excite students (grades 9-12) about science, technology, engineering, and mathematics.  

The goal of this year’s What If? Live Student Design Challenge is to develop high school students’ creative and analytical abilities by learning about the growing need for green fuels and designing a vehicle propulsion system using commonly available materials, including sweet treats and carbonated beverages.  Students must create a research plan, write a research paper, develop and build the propulsion system, make a video showing the vehicle in action, and submit the video to judges via YouTube.com.

Competing teams will design a vehicle propelled by a soda geyser (turning a soda bottle sideways to allow the geyser to propel the vehicle horizontally).  Students will manipulate propulsion variables such as nozzle size and shape, soda type, temperature, and quantity along with variations of sugary additives (candies) in an effort to develop a vehicle that travels the farthest on the soda propulsion system.

Founded by Anousheh Ansari in 2008, each year the What If Prize Competition presents unique space-theme challenges and gives students the opportunity to think, search and write their ideas on how to solve these challenges.  A panel of scientists, astronauts and educators will judge the entries and select finalists.  Winners will be announced in May and receive special recognition from NASA and Ahoora.

To register, submit research, and learn more about vehicle design, the official rules and other information about the What If? Live Student Design Challenge—including a two-minute video of the propulsion system in action—visit: www.whatifprize.org/