National Aeronautics and Space Administration

Goddard Space Flight CenterGoddard Space Flight Center

NASA Hosts Launch of NASA Goddard TRANSFORMERS OPTIMUS PRIME Spinoff Challenge

OPTIMUS PRIME Challenge WebsiteThe NASA Goddard TRANSFORMERS OPTIMUS PRIME Spinoff Challenge, hosted by the Innovative Technology Partnerships Office (ITPO) at NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Maryland, is launching its 2014-2015 academic year competition. The purpose of the challenge is to raise awareness of NASA’s Technology Transfer Program and to inspire interest in all NASA missions, programs and projects.

This year the scope of the contest is being expanded to include two challenges. The first challenge is very similar to previous years’ contests. Students in grades 3 through 12 are asked to submit a video describing their favorite NASA Goddard spinoff. In a new twist, participants in this year’s contest must also use the engineering design process to develop and propose a new spinoff application of their own for the technology. Spinoffs are technologies originally created for space and modified into everyday products used on Earth. Examples include memory foam, invisible braces and scratch-resistant lenses for eyeglasses.

“Through students’ creativity and skill demonstrated in each submitted video, NASA is able to be more effective at increasing the public’s awareness and understanding of the benefits of technology transfer and spinoffs,” said Nona Cheeks, Chief, ITPO. “We continue to be amazed at the students’ innovative and creative explanations of NASA technologies.”

A second Spinoff Challenge, the TRANSFORMERS OPTIMUS PRIME InWorld Challenge, offers students in grades 6-12 an opportunity to take their video spinoff ideas to another level. Interested teams must study James Webb Space Telescope spinoff technology and post their completed spinoff videos for review by college engineering students. Engineering college mentors will select 20 teams to continue the collaborative design process within a multi-user virtual world to build a 3-D model of the team’s design solutions.

This is the fourth year ITPO has collaborated with Hasbro on the challenge.

“We are pleased that Hasbro and the Transformers brand are able to support the promotion of the many disciplines of science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) to students,” said Sarah Carroll, Senior Brand Manager, Hasbro TRANSFORMERS.

Winning students from each grade category will be invited to Goddard to participate in a behind-the-scenes workshop and VIP awards ceremony. One special attendee will be the voice of OPTIMUS PRIME, actor Peter Cullen.

“My experience working with the students at NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center has been nothing short of magical,” said Cullen. “They inspire me with their natural curiosity and appetite for learning about NASA and the space program. I encourage all students to explore the many opportunities within the STEM fields.”

For more information about the challenge, please visit:

For more information about ITPO, please visit:

For more information about NASA and agency programs, please visit:

Darryl Mitchell
NASA Goddard Space Flight Center, Greenbelt, Md.


Date Challenge Item
October 2014 – January 12, 2015 Video Challenge Register & upload videos
January 26, 2015 InWorld Challenge College mentors review videos and select teams
February 2, 2015 InWorld Challenge Challenge begins
February 16 – March 15, 2015 Video Challenge Public voting
March 16 – 20, 2015 InWorld Challenge Evaluation team review
March 23 – 31, 2015 Video Challenge Evaluation team review
April 13 -17, 2015 InWorld Challenge Finalists selected
April 27 – May 1, 2015 InWorld Challenge Finalists present to evaluators
May 2015 Video & InWorld Challenges Winners announced
Summer/Fall 2015 Video & InWorld Challenges Award ceremony and VIP tour


OPTIMUS PRIME and TRANSFORMERS are trademarks of Hasbro and are used with permission. ©2014 Hasbro. All Rights Reserved.