College shoots for space to save world

15 Feb 2022

College scientists Tim Wang (leader), Bruce Chen, Yusef Elnahas, and Thimeth Wijesinghe will vie for the $10,000 grand prize as finalists in this year’s Space for Planet Earth Challenge.

The boys have been recognised for their Virtual Research Incubator – supported by SpaceBase – looking at coral reef health, and make up one of only three teams chosen for the finals of the international online challenge to be held on Friday.

“We have worked very hard and it is so cool to get this far, with the prizes and scholarships extra incentives to take this important environmental issue to the next level and find solutions,” the boys say.

“These types of issues will affect our generation, and we need to act, with the challenge offering the inspiration. It has been fun to work together as we hope to achieve so much.”

The challenge aims to inspire the next generation to address the biggest environmental issues.

The boys have utilised data – available via the platforms using spacecraft and satellites from the United States and the European Space Agency – to track the health of coral reefs.

For the finals, each group will make a seven-minute Shark Tank-style pitch presentation to the international judges and a live online audience. Their project will be measured by space technology use, technical feasibility, an innovative solution, implementation, environmental impact, and a prototype. The winning team members will also receive scholarships to the MMAARS Virtual Academy Analog Astronautics Program.

You can watch the Space for Planet Earth Challenge finals online on Friday from 5pm by registering for free here.

Members of the College team, in November 2021, at the start of their Space for Planet Earth journey.