Since starting Space Settlement Design Competitions®️ (SSDC) in 1984, our organizers and volunteers have observed that our events serve as a catalyst for student interest in the subjects you teach.  It is not unusual for a high school student to say “now I understand why I need to study math and physics” while spending a weekend with us.  What we create for students enables them to experience—as closely as possible for high school students—what it is like to be a real engineer in the aerospace industry.  They learn—and practice—skills essential for success in industry, including communication, teamwork, and even management techniques.  Our alumni tell us that they do not learn these skills in college, not even in Business School.  Alumni have told us that their SSDC experiences have given them more confidence in college, they employ skills learned through SSDC in their careers, and participation in SSDC was “life-changing”. 

One question we frequently receive is how to fit an event such as ours into a busy school year. As an event that teaches students cross-disciplinary skills, our competitions naturally touch on teaching points across almost the entire modern school curriculum – from science to english, from graphic design to economics and social studies.

Many of the teachers who participate in our events choose to operate this as an extra-curricular club, outside of school hours, and we offer these students and teachers strong support. However, we also know of many high schools that use SSDC materials in their curricula. To provide two examples:

  1. For one school in US Mountain Time Zone, the SSDC Qualifying Competition proposal is a project in AP Physics.
  2. For another on the US West coast, the SSDC Qualifying Competition proposal is used in English class as a way to show how the English language is used in industry. 

If you are interested in getting in touch with either of these schools to learn how they do this, please contact me at the email address below and I will introduce you.

We have a long-term goal to make the SSDC experience available to every high school student in the U.S., and we encourage our Regional Coordinators to do the same in their Regions.  You may contact me at the email address below if you would like to start a conversation about how to do this for your students.

Anita Gale

AEC Chair & SSDC Co-Founder