A look at the X Prize and Incentivized Prize Competitions written by: hmbuguah2014 Incentivized prize competitions are a great way to encourage progress in any area of interest. Prizes have always spurred people to achieve greats feats and are one of the important ways of solving great problems. From Homer’s Iliad, Archimedes bathtub discovery and the British Longitude Prize, incentivized competitions are a great way to solve great challenges that face people at any given time. Incentivized prize competitions have been used over the years to make great advances in aviation, medicine, maritime, chemical industries and breakthroughs in aerodynamics and engine design to name but a few.

Over time, incentivized prize competitions fell into obscurity. Governments interests shifted to security and being the largest incentivized benefactors, the became fewer and less grand in every aspect. A different approach to incentivized prize competitions was taken by Peter Diamandis in 1995 when he officially proposed the X Prize competition the NSS International Space Development Conference. The competition was to stimulate research and development in low-cost space flight. Participants were to build a space shuttle able to fly people to the edge of space.

The success of the strategy in today’s world can be easily recognized when one looks at the achievements of Diamandis’ brainchild. The initial competition led to the rapid technological advances in commercial spaceflight and creation of companies in the field like Virgin Galactic. By the time the $10 million prize was won in 2004, ten times the amount had been invested in research and development in the field of spaceflight. The X Prize is an incentivized prized competition that is highly leveraged to solve grand challenges that are facing the planet. Some of the fields that are now targeted by the prize in addition to exploration are Energy & Environment, Life Sciences, Global Development and Learning.

By bringing in the private sector in addition to government funding, incentivized prize competitions can lead to greater progress in various fields. Since the competitions are well-suited for stimulating innovation and research in stagnated industries and fields, corporations in different industries can leverage them to increase innovations and advances in their fields of interest.

The success of the initial X (ten) Prize competition, itself modeled on previous prize competitions, has given rise to many competitions modeled after it. The competition has inspired offshoots such as the Automotive X Prize, the Archon X Prize and, perhaps the most famous, the Google Lunar X Prize. Others include the M Project (the Methuselah Mouse Project aimed at life extension) and the H Project (Hydrogen Vehicle Project).


Cosmology is the most established science, with the first perceptions of the sky directed by our initial human precursors. Verifiable records of cosmic estimations go back similarly as Mesopotamia about 5000 years prior, with later perceptions made by the old Chinese, Babylonians, and Greeks. People look to clarify their reality with (interior) models; one of the most punctual is that the undertakings of people and the world are controlled by the positions of the stars and planets. Despite the fact that crystal gazing is currently viewed as a pseudoscience, it was the first inspiration for the mapping of the stars and the task of heavenly bodies.

Stargazing is more than basically a mapping of stars and planets into blueprints of divine beings and mysterious animals. It is the experimental investigation of the substance of whole Universe stars, planets, comets, space rocks, systems, and space and time and in addition its history. Space experts may make inquiries about how to buy a star or other questions like:

  • Is the Universe extending, contracting, or constant?
  • Does the Universe have a starting? An end?
  • How much matter arrives in the Universe?
  • Is it possible to buy a star for someone and name it after them?
  • What are stars and how are they conceived and how would they kick the bucket?
  • How are planets shaped?
  • How are cosmic systems framed?
  • What are comets and what is their sythesis?
  • Are there different planets other than the ones in our nearby planetary group, and assuming this is the case, do any of them harbor life?

The Educational Technology Center has equipment available for checkout/preview. At present, teachers may request a piece of equipment for 30 days. Teachers are responsible for this equipment and must agree to replace damaged, lost, or stolen items. Some equipment requires the completion of a Professional Development course.

Available Equipment (and requirements)

Equipment Requiring short 20-30 minute briefing workshop:

  • LCD Projectors
  • ELMO Document Cameras
  • WACOM Wireless Slates
  • Digital still cameras
  • Digital video cameras
  • Digital Blue QX5 Digital Microscopes
  • AlphaSmart word-processing keyboards

Equipment Requiring a Professional Development Course

  • Wireless SMART Airliner (requires course 94127)
  • eInstruction CPS Student Response Device sets (requires course 23204)
  • TI Graphing Calculators (requires course 82016)
  • TI-Navigator System (inquire about course requirement)
  • Vernier Probeware (inquire about course requirement)
  • TI-10 and TI-15 calculators (inquire about course requirement)