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Space Apps Challenge 2018: A weekend of innovation and creativity

Fuelled by caffeine, lack of sleep and creativity, over 425 Canadians, mostly university students, spent the last weekend finding solutions to real-world problems using space and other data during the NASA Space Apps Challenge, a 48-hour hackathon. For a second year in a row, the Canadian Space Agency (CSA) contributed to Space Apps by providing datasets, challenges and expert support on location and virtually.

Of the Canadian teams participating, 25 worked on our challenges in either of the six host cities across the country. Eleven of those teams were selected to win a CSA Award. The following winning teams will have the chance to converse with one of our Canadian astronauts.

Winning teams - CSA challenges
Team Challenges Location
AstroMentis Be a bio-spy Montreal
Captiosus Be a bio-spy Ottawa
The Lost Boy Save the coasts of the North (Joint NRCan/CSA challenge) Ottawa
Microdoze Be a bio-spy Toronto
The Oblate Spheroids Communicate climate change Kitchener-Waterloo
Nerds of a Feather Be a bio-spy Kitchener-Waterloo
Romulus Asteroid explorer Kitchener-Waterloo
Team Winnipeg: Jets to Space Save the coasts of the North (Joint NRCan/CSA challenge) Winnipeg
Team Jaime Be a bio-spy Winnipeg
Bio-spy YEG Be a bio-spy Edmonton
The Impactors Asteroid explorer Edmonton

Sincere congratulations to all the participants and the winning teams! Your spirit of innovation, brain power and skills are impressive and inspiring!

We would like to also thank our CSA mentors and judges as well as our scientist colleagues from Natural Resources Canada, Environment and Climate Change Canada, and Defense Research and Development Canada who provided support either on-site or virtually.

Finally, a very special shout out to the local organizers and volunteers in Montreal, Ottawa, Toronto, Kitchener-Waterloo, Winnipeg and Edmonton for all their hard work and time. You provide an important platform to the developers, designers, engineers and entrepreneurs of tomorrow to share ideas, spur creative thinking and increase knowledge.

Nine-year old Arushi Nath was arguably the youngest Canadian participant in this year's challenge. With her 12-year old brother Artash and their dad, she created "Deep Space Musical", a musical about our Universe. They converted into music images taken from the Hubble Space Telescope depicting birth of stars (Pillars of Creation image) and galaxies (Hubble Ultra Deep Field image) to the death of stars (SuperNova 1987A). This was their fourth participation in the NASA Space Apps Challenge! Last year, Arushi received a CSA award for her Yes I Can project using RADARSAT-2 data, which she presented on this weekend at the Toronto event. (Credit: CSA)

CSA's RADARSAT expert Julie Claveau answers questions from a team in Montreal. (Credit: CSA)

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