Conrad Foundation Newest Partner: AIAA

Officials with The Conrad Foundation today announced the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics (AIAA) is the newest partner to support the Pete Conrad Spirit of Innovation Awards.

The contest challenges teams of high school students to create innovative products for use in various fields of science and technology, including lunar exploration, personal spaceflight and renewable energy.

This mentor-based, collaborative approach to interdisciplinary science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) education is designed to engage students and teachers in ways that increase their understanding and interest in science and technology college degree programs and careers. This year, 21 teams are vying for $120,000 in prize money and the opportunity to commercialize their products for general market use.

Through this partnership, student teams in the space categories will receive counsel and support from the general AIAA membership. In addition, AIAA members will serve as judges in the lunar exploration and personal spaceflight categories. Team finalists will also have the opportunity to present their product concepts at AIAA events, such as the AIAA 2009 Space Conference and Expo at the Pasadena Convention Center, in Pasadena, Calif., Sept. 14-17 . AIAA will provide memberships to the top three teams in the aerospace competition categories.

“Having the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics’ support in this competition is tremendous and gives our student teams greater visibility within the space industry as well as the opportunity to obtain counsel and guidance,” said Nancy Conrad, founder of The Conrad Foundation.

Twenty one teams are currently competing in the Pete Conrad Spirit of Innovation Awards. To learn more about the competition, to become a partner or to support your favorite student team, visit