New Format for Well-Known Event: NASA Space Apps Challenge Dnipro 2020 Wrap-Up

13 Oct 2020
NASA Space Apps Challenge

On October 3-4, the largest space hackathon NASA Space Apps Challenge was held in 150 countries around the world. Over 26,000 space buffs joined the movement to face challenges, find solutions and present their projects. 

NASA Space Apps Challenge is a 48-hour competition that brings together makers, programmers, developers, engineers, designers, marketers and other space fans on a global scale. The main task for participants is to solve a challenge using space data and present their solution. 

This is the fourth consecutive time Noosphere has been Dnipro’s local host for the hackathon. 2020 is the first time, however, that the worldwide event was held entirely online, due to the coronavirus pandemic. It wasn’t Noosphere’s first online hackathon though. Earlier in the year we hosted the NASA Space Apps COVID-19 Challenge, which focused on tackling the unfolding effects of the coronavirus pandemic. Although there are some twists, the online event does have benefits. Because of the format, we were able to cover even more regions in Ukraine. We gathered participants from Dnipro, Kyiv, Kamyansky, Zaporizhzhia, Kharkiv, Rivne, Mykolayiv, Volnovakha, Kramatorsk. Altogether, NASA Space Apps Challenge Dnipro picked up 150 registrations.  

The global organizers prepared 23 challenges for this year’s participants to choose from, all dedicated to issues specific to the Earth and space. Challenge themes included establishing communication with astronauts on Mars, planning sleep during space missions, preventing the effects of fires and floods, etc. The organizers also created a special group of challenges for the youth. Because of this, Space Apps Dnipro was able to involve even more young participants. For example, the YOVI team (from the Lyceum of Information Technology at Oles Honchar Dnipro National University) developed a concept and prototype of a device that detects respiratory diseases by measuring various indicators (heart rate, blood oxygenation, respiratory rate, body temperature, ambient temperature, pressure, humidity and air pollution). Students in grades 5, 9, 10, and 11 also joined other teams.

As always, Noosphere provided Dnipro’s participants with professional mentoring support from experts in the field, like the Space Apps Dnipro 2017 winner, a Technical Sciences candidate at Oles Honchar Dnipro National University, a lecturer at the “Igor Sikorsky Kyiv Polytechnic Institute” National Technical University of Ukraine, and a Facebook software engineer to name a few. 

In the end, 16 projects were presented to the expert jury of Michael Ryabokon, Chairman of the Board at Association Noosphere; Oleg Skydan, Doctor of Economics, Professor, Rector of Polissya National University (Zhytomyr); and Volodymyr Gnatushenko, Doctor of Technical Sciences, Professor, Head of the Department of the National Technical University “Dnipro Polytechnic”, and Chief Science Officer at EOS DA. Noosphere congratulates the winner of local stage EUROAVIA Kyiv and FireWay.  The EUROAVIA Kyiv team proposed creating a special platform module with which astronauts can assemble large and complex structures in outer space. The FireWay team presented a universal space connector that allows satellites to refuel in orbit, extending their life. In a few weeks, both teams will compete with winners from all the other global locations to become the finalists on the international stage of the NASA Space Apps Challenge.