- The contest is open to secondary school pupils from fourteen (14) to nineteen (19) years old. This concerns secondary school pupils born on or between 1st April 1997 and 31st March 2003.
- ‘Pioneers’ work in teams with between two (2) to three (3) members, led by one teacher-leader. Pupils within a team may be from different schools within the same country or different classrooms/grades within a school, so long as the age criterion is respected. Each team may also have a mentor to guide them technically or scientifically.
- Each Pioneers’ team must have a teacher-leader to lead the team and support the registration and submission of projects, to provide guidance during the project and during travel to the semi-finals and finals.
- All teams can submit only one project and each contestant may compete in only one team.
- Teams should choose a unique, identifying name that reflects the educational, scientific or social aims of the contest.
- All contestants or teams must submit an original space science project based on the themes and challenges specified for their age category
- Contestants on Pioneers category may submit a digital entry between 1st September 2016 and 31st March 2017.
- All entries submitted must be the contestants’ own work, carried out specifically for this contest.
- Pioneers’ projects will be evaluated in three stages:
- Stage 01
Nationally, by a panel of judges from the participants’ own country, based on the online submissions. This will take place in April 2017. Submissions from non-EU countries will be assigned by the organizers to one of the panels of judges, according to the language selected by the participants.
- Stage 02
Regionally, by a selection of judges from the previous round, drawn from all participating countries in the region. Judging will take place at the semi-finals held in each region, which bring together all the national winners within the region. Teams may be invited to the regional events on the condition that their entry is marked with at least 10 out of 20 in the first phase. The teams advanced to the semi-finals will present live their entries to the judges. The regional semi-finals will take place between 30th April and 30th June 2017. Exact dates per region will be announced in the Odysseus website.
- Stage 03
Internationally, by a panel of prominent space researchers, educators and science personalities. The winners of the regional finals will meet in Toulouse, France to present their projects to the judges. The international final will take place in July 2017. The exact day of the final event will be announced in the Odysseus website.
- During the judging at national level, the number of winners going onto the next level will be determined by the relative populations of the competing countries and the number of submissions from each region and in each theme category. The Odysseus II Contest organizers will announce how many teams from each country will advance to the semi-finals, via the official website. The ten winning teams at regional level will participate in the International Final.
- During the selection of the best projects at European level, honours are awarded without regard to the citizenship or residency of the finalists. i.e. there are no pre-set quotas based on population or rates of contest participation.
- Judges of the space projects will award points for the following criteria
- Academic excellence (accuracy, difficulty)
- Relevance to the stated theme
- Problem-solving abilities
- Social relevance
- Technical merit and practical skills
- Sustainability and environmental awareness
- Each team will be provided with a summary of the judges’ evaluation of their project at the time of judging. Later requests for further evaluations cannot be honoured.
- Judges will also distribute a number of special citations to non-winning teams at each stage, for example:
- Most eye-catching graphic
- Most original problem
- Most professional presentation
- Most artistic submission
- Best use of music in a science project
- Most innovative approach to the stated theme
- Most environmentally aware project
- Most innovative solution to the problem
- Best usage of space knowledge basics
- Every Pioneer team will receive a diploma to show that they participated in the Odysseus II contest, as will the teacher-leaders of every team.
- All winning projects will be displayed in full in the Hall of Fame area of the Odysseus II website and team member contestants will be awarded a winners’ medallion.
- It is free to participate in the contest and travel expenses (plane and train tickets, accommodation, set meals and insurance) for participating in regional and European finals will be covered by the Odysseus II Contest organizers, within reasonable limits. Paid trips to the regional and international finals are for one teacher-leader and a maximum of three contestants.
- At both the regional and international finals the finalists will participate in a number of space-based activities, events and trips, arranged and paid for by the Odysseus II Contest organizers.
- It is the responsibility of the team’s teacher-leader to provide full and correct information about each participant in the team via the Odysseus II Contest website registration form.
- Each participant under the age of eighteen (18) must provide a signed parental consent form to participate in the contest.
- A parental consent form for travel and participation in the regional and European finals must be provided for each contestant under the age of eighteen (18) participating in the finals.
- It is the responsibility of the team teacher-leader to provide the organizers with signed parental consent forms for all their contestants.
- Each teacher-leader may lead up to 4 teams in the contest.