Life imitates art, and art imitates life. What about toys equal future, and future equals toys? Besides making me sound like I have something missing upstairs, that notion is the product of an all-caps partnership between LEGO and NASA that indirectly highlights how important having a hobby can be.
From now until the morning of July 31, 2013, LEGO and science enthusiasts can enter a design into NASA’s Missions: Imagine and Build program, with prizes given from both organizations. There are two different categories for you to enter, assuming you match the age requirements. The judges include LEGO execs, as well as an as-yet-unnamed NASA astronaut and another NASA expert.
“Imagine Our Future Beyond Earth” invites anyone 16 and older to open their imagination up to the universe and design what future NASA missions should look like. Of course, the imagination should be tethered to existing mission plans taking place through the 2030s. Remember to keep it classy as well. Rockets are already phallic, so there’s no reason to go overboard. The grand prize winners gets the LEGO CUUSOO Hayabusa kit (modeled after the unmanned Japanese craft) signed by its designer Melody Louise Caddick, recognition and honorable mention on NASA.gov, and a personalized signed lithograph of the unnamed astronaut judge.
“Inventing the Future of Flight” is for anyone 13 and up, but this one isn’t just about designing future aircraft from bricks. They want a technical research paper to support the work. Use any bit of current technology and let them know how it’s advancing or utilizing it. It might even get published. The grand prize winner will receive a special LEGO trophy, a collection of commemorative NASA memorabilia, and a virtual presentation of the project to NASA and LEGO specialists. Due to its reliance on academia, this one is separated into two age groups.