XPRIZE After Earth Challenge

The Challenge

Kicking off in spring of 2013, the XPRIZE After Earth Challenge set out to give students (13-17 years old) leadership and team-building experiences, while teaching them about sustainability practices, video production, building landscape models and robotics programming. The two-phase competition challenged teams from around the world to address broad issues raised in the film, After Earth, starring Will Smith and Jaden Smith. Entries poured in from young pioneers spanning four continents, with countries including Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Poland, India, Egypt, Hungary, Singapore, USA, and Oman.

In Phase One, teams submitted a video responding to two questions:

  • Some scientists are predicting that by the year 2071, Earth will no longer be hospitable. We have been mistreating it for far too long. What are some things you are doing individually, and in your community, to promote a more sustainable way of living, ensuring that we will not have to evacuate our planet?
  • Your team has been tasked with sending an unmanned rover to explore Nova Prime, a potential site for humanity’s next settlement. What steps should your rover take in order to assess if Nova Prime is habitable?

In Phase Two, ten teams were chosen to receive a LEGO® MINDSTORMS® robotics kit and a Sony Handycam® to record their next mission: To design and build a Nova Prime landscape, upon which their robot must complete a series of critical tasks. The Finalist teams documented their process of building a robot, a landscape, and completing their mission tasks in a video that was submitted to judges.

The Results

Team Starling from Missouri, U.S.A. won the Grand Prize, which included a highlight of their team in the special “XPRIZE After Earth Challenge winning video” appearing on the After Earth Blu-ray, with an introduction by Jaden Smith as Kitai Raige. The winning team was comprised of sisters Mia and Zoe Goff, ages 13 and 15, and led by their father, Evan.

Pictured: A still image from Grand Prize winner Team Starling’s video.

Winners of XPRIZE After Earth Challenge:

  1. Team Starling – Ballwin, MO Watch Finalist Video >>
  2. Trinity Dragons Robotics Club – Lutz, FL Watch Finalist Video >>
  3. AKGRobotics – Budapest, Hungary Watch Finalist Video >>

The other Finalists (alphabetically):

Better Earth – Pittsburgh, PA
Dash2Nova – San Jose, CA
Nebulans – Alexandria, Egypt
Save the Planet – Graham, NC
Space Friends – Turkeve, Hungary
The Swarm – Wildwood, MO
Team Quantas – Maharashtra, India

Congratulations and thank you to all who braved the XPRIZE After Earth Challenge!

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