‘Global Nominee’ award for Keele’s NASA Challenge

A team from Keele University has been selected as one of four ‘Global Nominees’ in Virtual Participation in the NASA Space Apps Challenge 2018.

NASA’s International Space Apps Challenge is an international hackathon that occurs over 48 hours in cities around the world. Coders, scientists, designers, storytellers, makers, builders, technologists, and everyone enthusiastic about curiosity come together to address challenges we face on Earth and in space.

The Keele team created an app called ‘Real Earth’ which uses satellite images to highlight the beauty of our home planet, using data provided by NASA to demonstrate the different ecosystems on Earth, and the environmental catastrophes faced globally.

The Real Earth app aims to reconnect people to large-scale environmental problems that are disconnected from everyday lives by highlighting actions and linking to the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals.

The Space Apps Challenge is an innovation program created by NASA, generating an international collaborative hackathon event. The challenge runs annually with different themes: 2018 focused upon Earth and Space, inviting curiosity about the challenges faced on Earth, and what lies beyond it. Several themes within this topic are presented ahead of the intense 48-hour creative period, and these are based on NASA Open Data.

The ‘Keele Runnings’ team is comprised of Keele students and staff: Chris Briggs, a PhD Researcher at the School of Computing and Mathematics working in SEND research; Sarah Briggs, Keele’s Sustainability Project Officer; and James Mitchell, a PhD Researcher in the School of Computing and Mathematics working on researching information delivery to clinicians.

Speaking on behalf of the team, Sarah Briggs said:

“We were over the moon to be selected as a Global Nominee, especially with the number of projects that were completed during the competition. Being nominated has motivated us to continue developing Real Earth to inspire people to tackle key global challenges affecting our planet. Through sharing images of our beautiful planet and actions people can take, we hope to inspire hope in people that they can be part of global change for a sustainable future.”