March 10th, 2016

25 Ways to Win: Genes in Space Awards

The Genes in Space™ competition attracts students who are curious about the living world on Earth and beyond. Last year, to highlight remarkable submissions outside of the 5 Finalists, we announced the Honorable Mentions Awards.  This year, anticipating a growing number of outstanding proposals, we are further expanding the Genes in Space Awards. We will recognize and celebrate a total of 25 student teams and their educators.


Each of these Genes in Space Awardees will receive a miniPCR DNA Discovery System™ for their educational institution, enabling them to share their passion for DNA science with their entire classroom.  This complete biotechnology toolkit includes the same DNA technology that is scheduled to fly to the International Space Station in April 2016!

10 Honorable Mentions

Ten Honorable Mention Awards will be presented to teams whose proposals display remarkable scientific rigor and creativity.

Criteria: All submissions are qualified to win this award.  Entries must be received by the contest submission deadline, April 20th 2016.

Constellation Awards for 5 schools

The Constellation Award celebrates an educational institution’s collective enthusiasm for Science and Space. Five US educational institutions (one in each major geographic region) with the highest number of early submissions will receive this award.

Criteria: Entries must be received early, by March 20th to qualify for this award.  Middle schools, high schools, after-school programs, science centers, etc. are all eligible to receive this award.

5 Middle School Awards

Five Junior Scientist Awards will be presented to middle school teams.  This award category recognizes outstanding proposals by US middle school students or teams.

Criteria: All submissions by students or teams in grades 7th or 8th are qualified to win this award.  Entries must be received by the contest submission deadline, April 20th 2016.  In addition to this award, middle-school students are eligible to win all Genes in Space awards, including Finalists and Winner.

5 Genes in Space Finalists

Five Finalist teams will receive mentoring from scientists from Harvard University and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. The Finalists will have a chance to strengthen their proposal and make it feasible for the microgravity environment of the International Space Station. They will be awarded the miniPCR DNA Discovery System™.  They will also receive travel award to attend the ISS Research and Development Conference in San Diego, California where they will present their proposals to a prestigious panel of scientists, educators, and technologists, and compete for a chance to become the Genes in Space Winner.

1 Genes in Space Winner

The Winner will have their experiment performed 250 miles above the Earth aboard the ISS. Members of the winning team will be invited to attend a Space Biology Camp to prepare their experiment for space travel. They will also receive an invitation to watch the launch of their experiment into orbit.