Though most of us want to change the world for the better, sometimes a little encouragement goes a long way, and there is no better way to encourage innovation than through contests — particularly those with big prizes.
To get our readers involved, FedScoop decided to put together a guide to some of government’s most uplifting, potentially lucrative and otherwise socially beneficial challenges currently underway on Challenge.gov.
Technology-based Products to Prevent High-Risk Drinking among College Students
Technology continues to solve some of the biggest challenges in government, but can it fix our college-drinking problem? The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, part of the Health and Human Services Department, hopes so. High-risk drinking in college students is a major public health concern that can lead to a wide array of other serious problems. Solutions in the contest should prevent high-risk drinking by providing cost-effective, portable, technology-based products — including web applications, mobile apps and podcasts — capable of reaching a diverse group of college students, parents, administrators, faculty and staff. The payoff for creating a preventative binge-drinking solution is big – $60,000 for first-prize winners. There are only 40 days left to get involved. Start by clicking here.
NASA ISS Food Intake Tracker iPad App Challenge
To determine the role of nutrition in spaceflight, NASA launched the International Space Station Fit challenge. Contestants must create an iPad app that will allow ISS crew members to easily input and track the food they consume. Apps must identify the user, monitor his or her dietary intake and provide a time stamp of when each food was consumed. This information will also help NASA offer its astronauts better dietary recommendations to allay some of the negative physiological effects of spaceflight. With 34 days left and $55,000 in total prize giveaways, contestants should hurry to get involved here.
Rachel Carson Sense of Wonder Contest
Developed by the Environmental Protection Agency in partnership with a host of sponsors, the 7th Annual Rachel Carson Intergenerational Sense of Wonder Contest brings together two divergent generations for one purpose – a poetry, essay, photo, dance or songwriting contest. Teams composed of contestants from two different age groups must use art to illustrate the beauty of the natural environment. Whether depicting the sea, mountains, prairies, flora or fauna, entries will be judged on their ability to capture a sense of wonder. Winners receive national recognition. There are 13 days left to grab a grandparent or child and get involved, so click here.
Kids’ Baseball Coin Design Challenge
For all baseball-loving kids age 13 and under (Sam Stegon in a few years), it is now possible to put those nebulous baseball sentiments into tangible form. Share what you love most about baseball – hot dogs, home runs, peanuts or fly balls – by designing, on any medium, a baseball coin. A kid’s version of the now-closed nationwide Baseball Coin Design Competition, winners will be selected by national vote. The most popular coin designs from each age group will win a National Baseball Hall of Fame $1 Silver Commemorative Coin. There are still 32 days left in the U.S. Mint’s baseball-themed competition. Sign up your kids here.
Created by the U.S. Army, the MTConnect Challenge encourages the development of advanced manufacturing intelligence applications that use the MTConnect standard. MTConnect is an open, royalty-free set of communications standards promoting greater interoperability between manufacturing equipment, devices and software applications. The challenge has two parts. Challenge 1 pushes participants to develop ideas that harness innovation and manufacturing intelligence breakthroughs. Challenge 2 is for software applications addressing the above issues. The first phase of the contest ends in three days and is open to student and adult innovators of all age groups. With five first place prizes of $5,000 at stake, there is no time like the present to get involved. Enter the challenge here.