Odysseus Contest for the Explorers category is designed to give students in the EU and around the world an opportunity to showcase their creativity and academic excellence, by addressing a broad spectrum of scientific and technological space challenges.
Explorer contestants may seek help from a mentor for technical and scientific advice.
Register to the Odysseus II contest and fill in the registration form and accept the rules of the Contest!
The second step for the contestants is to choose the topic of their project.
The overarching theme of the challenge is Space Utilization and the submitted projects could focus on missions like Galileo, Copernicus, Rosetta and Gaia, which are supported by the EU, ESA and the space industry and pave the way for the provision of services crucial to modern life or open the door to new knowledge about the Universe. University students from all disciplines can compete in the Explorers category and therefore, the responses to the listed topics and examples may include contributions not only from engineering, technology and sciences students, but also from social sciences and humanities students.
Within this framework contestants can choose a topic from the list below:
Galileo is the GPS cousin from Europe. It is better, is faster and has a better name. It generates job and other benefits and will enable greater European Independence. How will it influence our live? How space programs change our lives and what benefits do we have now?
In XVI century Nicolai Copernicus was looking into the sky. Now ESA Copernicus project is watching opposite way, since it looks from the sky at the Earth. How can we observe Earth? How can we use data from earth observations?
The first step on the moon was a giant step for the mankind. Another step in space exploration was made by making Philae land on a comet. What will be the next giant jump in space exploration? What can we find in our Universe and how can we explore it further?
During its five years of observation Gaia will watch the Universe. What will it find there and how can we help her?
This list is not exhaustive and any other development of ideas within the framework of the selected themes could be displayed based on the imagination of the students.
The contestants should choose the type of project they want to work on. This could be an experiment, a video, a prototype, a presentation, or any other set up (View Limitations).
Check the submission template, that is provided by the organisers, which is not obligatory but recommended, can be found here.
 Electronic files uploaded to document each project can include: illustrated essays, PowerPoint presentations, posters, links to videos, links to dedicated project websites, and audio files.
Allowed file formats are:
The maximum limit on the total size of uncompressed files for each entry is: 20 MB
Each project may cost no more than 300 € in materials to produce.
The contestants should conduct research, focusing on the theme of their project and the design of the solution or the production of the final deliverable of their work. In this phase participants are encouraged to consult mentors about the feasibility and scientific validity of their ideas.
Contestants are further advised to develop their project in accordance with the Odysseus II contest requirements, to ensure that they avoid plagiarized material and that they provide all the necessary references for their project.
The final step is the submission of the project through the Odysseus website. Participants can develop and submit their project in any of the twenty-four (24) official EU languages.
Trip to the Guiana Space Centre (airplane ticket, hotel accommodation, meals, insurance, participation in events, visits and tours to the Space Centre and other attractions)
“European Youth Space Ambassador” diploma.
Internship to ESA or to a European aero-space industry*. Internships could be from three to six months and the students will be granted with their travel expenses, health insurance and a monthly allowance covering their subsistence costs.
* The selected contestants should fulfill the criteria of the hosting organization for interns and trainees in order to be granted the additional prize.
One high quality computerized telescope for the finalist students – winners of the regional semi-finals.
Trip to the location of the International Final (traveling expenses, hotel accommodation, meals, insurance, visits and participation to events).
Trip to the location of the regional semi-finals (traveling expenses, hotel accommodation, meals, insurance, visits and participation to events).
All contestants will receive a certificate of participation in the Odysseus II Contest.
A cash equivalent cannot be substituted for the prizes.
Submitted projects will first be evaluated on a national level. This will be done online after the closing of submissions, in April 2017. If projects are selected to move on to the regional level, the contestants will be invited to take part in the semi-finals with all the other national winners in their region. The regional semi-finals will take place between 30 April and 30 June 2017. The winners of the regional finals will then meet in Toulouse, France for the international final in order to present their projects to a panel of international judges. This final will take place in July 2017.
Projects will be awarded points on the basis of the following criteria:
An entry to the contest demonstrates academic excellence when it provides well-documented arguments, using scientific methods that are credible and verifiable, includes citations, makes critical use of scientific and learning resources and showcases that the participants have acquired knowledge of the relevant contexts of the subject and have a depth of understanding of basic concepts and issues relevant to their project.
With this criterion it will be assessed the extent to which the proposed project is relevant to the thematic category selected and to the topic’s scope. Relevant theory and literature to the stated theme should be used adequately.
This criterion will assess the contestants’ thinking processes to approach the topic of their entry, in terms of describing the problem, determining the data and information need to be found, planning and carrying out the solution or using alternative solutions and evaluating the selected solutions.
Key criterion for assessing entry’s originality is that the project is the product of contestants’ work and ideas and that it is unique, or novel, or unconventional. Even if the entry will be based on someone else’s work would still count as original if the contestant conceives a new idea, makes an original presentation of the problem, adopts a new approach or method or is implemented in an innovative way.
It will be assessed how and the degree to which the entry proposes solutions and ideas that have long-term direct or indirect social benefits and / or the degree to which it relates to a current challenge of our societies (e.g. climate change, tightening supplies of energy, water and food)
With this criterion will be assessed the structure and format of the overall project and if its objectives, methodology and outcomes are clearly presented. It will also assess the logical organisation and linking of ideas, the clarity of expression and the use of appropriate supporting materials and technology (photos, drawings, slides, audio, video etc.)
An entry demonstrates technical merit when it delineates a clear conceptual framework or theory that anchors the background literature and informs the design and key variables of the project. The evaluators will also assess practical skills, including observation, precision, communication, ability to record and tabulate results, use of technological tools or pure practical skills such as building, soldering, woodwork.
This criterion will assess how environmental issues were integrated into the entry, through, for example, the exploration and discussion of project’s sustainability or through the use of eco-friendly materials or methods for the implementation or the presentation of the project.
Furthermore, a number of special citations to non-winning projects will be given out by the judges at each stage, which among others could be: most eye-catching graphic, most original problem, most professional presentation, most artistic submission, best use of music in a science project or most environmentally aware project.
Each contestant or pair of contestants will be provided with a summary of the judges’ evaluation of their project at the time of judging.
Odysseus II is a European project, funded by the European Commission. Its main objective is the organization of a pan-European contest for pupils and students between the age of seven (7) and twenty-two (22) years on Space exploration and Space science. Although a pan-European contest pupils and students from non-EU countries could also participate.
You can REGISTER by submitting your email and your selected password, and by selecting the category (Explorers) and accepting the rules of the Odysseus contest. Then you should verify your account by clicking the link included in the email that you will automatically receive. Then you should LOGIN to your account and fill in your details (and in case of a pair the details of your teammate) in the registration form.
Participants should be from seventeen (17) to twenty-two (22) years old (i.e. be born on or between 1st April 1994 and 31st March 2000) and should be enrolled in a university degree course during the academic year 2016-2017.
You could submit your entry in any of the following languages: Bulgarian, Czech, Croatian, Danish, Dutch, English, Estonian, Finnish, French, German, Greek, Hungarian, Irish, Italian, Latvian, Lithuanian, Maltese, Polish, Portuguese, Romanian, Slovak, Slovene, Spanish and Swedish. Participants from countries outside the European Union should submit their projects in any of the above languages.
If the entry makes it to the International final of the contest, the participants must provide a full translation into English, if the entry was originally submitted in another language.
You are free to select your own topic within the theme framework of the contest (also see the Instructions section on the Explorers page). You can make your own choice about the form and design of your entry (text, power point presentation, video, prototype, multimedia, experiment etc.), but you are advised to include a Project Worksheet in the template provided, describing the background thinking of your project. You are free to submit as many supporting files as deemed necessary.
You should upload your entry alongside its summary (in the form provided) by logging in to the Submit your Entry link, and following the instructions.
No. Each participant may submit only one entry to the Odysseus II contest.
There is a Forgot Your Password link on the Log in page. Click on this link and a new password will be sent to your registered e-mail address for Odysseus account.
You need to submit your entry from 1st September 2016 until 23:59 CET of 31st March 2017. The Odysseus II organizers recommend that you submit your entry upon completion without waiting until the deadline date.
Yes; you should follow the instructions provided in the Submit your Entry link. If you have any questions or might need help in uploading an entry, please fill in the relevant contact form and the organizers will help you securing that your entry will be uploaded appropriately.
All participants will receive a summary of the judges’ evaluation of their project at the time of judging.
For full details on evaluation criteria, please refer to the Assessment and Evaluation Criteria section of the Explorers page.
The number of participants going onto the next level of judging will be determined by the relative populations of the participating countries and the number of submissions from each region and in each theme category. The Odysseus II Contest organizers will announce how many contestants from each country will participate in the semi-finals, via the official website. The top contestants or pairs of the Regional semi-finals will participate in the International Final.
Yes all entries could be viewed on the Odysseus website after the expiry of the deadline for submitting an entry.
The contestants who will qualify to the regional events will be announced after the 20th of April 2017.
The winner in each Regional semi final will be announced at the end of the event after the completion of the judges’ consultations. Regional winners will also be announced on the Odysseus II Contest website.
For complete details on the prizes, please visit the Prizes page.