International Space Settlement Design Competition

Kudos: What People Say About The Competition

"Our son said the ISSDC finals in Houston is unquestionably the BEST experience of his life."
-- Parent, 2006

"[I]t really is inspiring stuff and an excellent experience."
-- Student, 2007

"There is no better way to teach."
-- Teacher, 2005

"We learn science at school, but this is the reason why."
-- Student, 2009

"I am thrilled to see my students involved in this program. It...provides [students] exactly the kind of educational experience that is described as ideal by current [Gifted/Talented program] literature and conferences."
-- Teacher, 2005

"You have made me want to come back again as soon as possible."
-- signed by entire 12-member Finalist team, 2004

"It's an amazing idea & engages students in learning to a degree I have rarely seen anywhere else. The students really do get a taste of real-world work pressures and collaboration."
-- Advisor, 2005

"I learned I don't know everything. You need inputs from all. It's the parts that make the whole."
-- Student, 1995

"I can honestly say that this competition sparked my interest in engineering and ultimately determined my career goals."
-- Alumnus Student, 1999

"The Competition...has strengthened my interest in aerospace and has given me a path that I would like to follow in the future."
-- Student, 2004

"If it weren't for...ISSDC I never would have gotten such a jump start on Engineering and knowing what I wanted to do in my life."
-- Alumnus Student, 2009

"The exposure that I gained there changed the entire course of my life and currently I am pursuing graduate study in the Electrical Engineering dept. at the University of Florida."
-- Alumnus Student, 2008

"My experiences in that competition...contributed to my personal and professional development more than any other singular experience in my life."
-- Alumnus Student, 2009

"[T]hey learned so much and I am sure many of them are inspired to become future scientists."
-- Advisor, 2009

"It's one of the best perspectives a high school student can gain on how things work in industry. It is about much more than space and can help in any career."
-- Advisor, 2005

"My son...has really blossomed since the whole experience."
-- Parent, 2004

"Competition...has allowed for and continues to develop enormous growth in my knowledge in the areas of aerospace, materials sciences, and engineering applications."
-- Student, 2003

"[W]e can't think of a more educational and inspiring activity for our son. We had never seen him so passionated, motivated, and determined to succeed as during the 3 days that his team was part of the ISSDC finals in Houston. He learned so many invaluable lessons from this experience, not only what Engineering is all about, but also the value of teamwork in working with his teammates from India."
-- Parent, 2006

"It is an honor to attend such a challenging competition and see the best brought out in each of our students."
-- Teacher, 1999

"Thank you very much for making this excellent program available. A great number of students benefit from your effort."
-- Student, 2001

"Several students [said]...they now understand how math and physics could be used and applied to real situations."
-- Teacher, 1997

"It is perfect for anyone who likes to use imagination, creativity, and designing skills"
-- Student, 2005

"I also learned in order to achieve a goal, it took the use of imagination, working with other people and tenacity."
-- Student, 1995

"Student was on the Design Team for two years and went from a C student to a high B student as a direct result of his participation.'
-- Teacher, 1997

"[My son] was diagnosed with Attention Deficit Disorder...failed an average of two courses per semester...He found that weekend so exciting...after two JSC weekends and two KSC weekends, this young man returned to his senior year of high school and put forth the consistent effort to maintain an A average...these competitions...have so significantly contributed to [his] growth."
-- Parent, 2001

"The hardest part is to keep everyone communicating and on deadline so everybody knows what everybody else is doing and we get done on time. It takes a lot of cooperation from everybody."
-- Student, 1995

"The biggest problem is dealing with all of the different people and personalities."
-- Student, 2000

"My students worked very hard at the competition and once again learned a lot about themselves and how to work with other people."
-- Teacher, 2001

"Because of the Space Settlement Design Competition experiences, six of the Class of '96 earned [college] scholarships."
-- Teacher, 1997

"Each [student] came back with a different perspective on life and an improved attitude regarding their capabilities."
-- Teacher, 1995

"Our brains were in overload. We worked all night."
-- Student, 1995

"[I]t was 1 o'clock in the morning and we found ourselves jumping up and down outside in the rain out of joy of actually finishing the challenging task of designing a space settlement orbiting earth."
-- Alumnus Student, 2003

"I never knew having no sleep for 3 days in boiling temperatures, whilst working on a project so demanding, could be so much fun."
-- Student, 2009

"You changed his life."
-- Teacher, 1995

"This experience has been life changing for some of our students."
-- Teacher, 2006

"I had never thought of myself as a public speaker because I'd never been one and never thought I could be one. ... That experience alone changed my life forever."
-- Alumnus Student, 2003

"[P]articipating in the competition...has helped me so much with conversations, persuasions, and talking in front of big groups of people. It has helped me in class where I am not shy to talk out loud and answer questions."
-- Alumnus Student, 2005

"[I]f I had to define the one thing that changed me into who I am today, I wouldn't have to go any further than saying ISSDC...this is an important experience for high schoolers."
-- Alumnus Student, 2008

"It seemed to me that we were working in a company."
-- Student, 1999

"I enjoyed the opportunity to see how a real company was operated and to act like one."
-- Student, 1994

"Now my daughter understands what I do at work."
-- Parent who writes proposals for a living, 2002

"It has given her more strength and determination than she had before the competition."
-- Teacher, 1995

"[S]he learned that she can do so much more than she ever thought she could...she...now can't wait to pursue [engineering] in college."
-- Advisor, 2009

"I was surprised at what I did."
-- Student, 1999

"To see the overall quality of work produced in such a short time frame was amazing."
-- Teacher, 2006


"The entire trip will always have a longlasting impact on the rest of my life. It was unforgettable."
-- Student, 1994

"Thanks so much for all you did for our kids at the Competition. It was a great experience and they were buzzing all the way back [home]."
-- Parent / Advisor, 2001

"A wonderful way to expose women and minorities to fields that they might not have chosen."
-- Teacher, 1997

"You expanded that student's world by a factor of ten."
-- Teacher, 1995

"The most difficult thing is organization and leadership."
-- Student, 1995

"This competition has developed every aspect of my current leadership skills."
-- Alumnus Student, 2005

"Professionals...contributed greatly to the experience. It was exciting to be able to ask them questions and have them help."
-- Student, 1994

"Thank you for the wonderful time this weekend. I loved to help the kids!"
-- Volunteer Engineer, 2001

"This is a great opportunity for these students to be exposed to the intense competitiveness of the real corporate world."
-- Teacher, 1995

"Has changed the career goals of most, has opened up new possibilities and expanded their horizons, has exposed them to new people, ideas, places and opportunities, has stretched them, challenged them, excited them and exhausted them."
-- Teacher, 1997

"The whole group experienced what team work is all about. If the team wasn't communicating with the others then nothing would get done."
-- Student, 1994

"[I learned] how to work more efficiently in a team, and how challenging teamwork can be."
-- Student, 2003

"You both impress and inspire my students to challenge and expect the best from themselves. It is always a treat for me to see how much my students change from this weekend."
-- Teacher, 2009

"Each student was amazed to see what they had done."
-- Teacher, 1999

"I learned more than I could have imagined."
-- Alumnus Student, 2003

"The work, the dedication--I didn't know I could do it."
-- Student, 2002

"You find out a lot about yourself."
-- Student, 2000

"This competition really taught me a lot about working with other people, being professional and taught me about myself. It was one of the best weeks of my life."
-- Student, 2009

"We gained new insight and discovered hidden talents....Many of these skills have become crucial factors in our college lives."
-- Alumni Students, 1997

"[I] cant [sic] help but to think [I] wouldn't have been able to adapt to this [college] environment if [I] had not participated in the...SSDC."
-- Alumnus Student, 2008

"It...has that which no other competition offers. You have the power to think out of the box which invites creativity that you never imagined you had."
-- Student, 2005

"You have done something extraordinary for these young people by giving them a challenging opportunity to discover themselves while they explore our future in space."
-- Teacher, 1997

"The competition was a chance for me to grow as an engineer, as a teacher, and as a citizen of the global village."
-- Volunteer Engineer, 2009

"Just like real life."
-- Teacher, 1999

"We shall value this experience for life."
-- Students, 2001

"[T]his week definitely turned out to be the best working week of my life. Thank you."
-- Student, 2009

"...a mind-blowing experience."
-- Volunteer Engineer, 2001

"When people asked why I was going on the trip this Summer, I told them 'I'm going to build a space station in two days.' I thought I was joking. It seems I really wasn't."
-- Student, 2005

"My students had a blast."
-- Teacher, 2006

"I truly lack the words to thank you for making this competition possible. As always, the students have had a wonderful learning experience."
-- Teacher, 2001