Your Company
/ Teams

Approach For Students

NorthDonning Heedwell
Your Fictional Company

When participating in SpaceSet events, students become employees of NorthDonning Heedwell (NDH), a interstellar aeronautical engineering consortium.
Students must adopt roles within NDH, and work within their departments in order to complete the space settlement design requested by the client – the Foundation Society.
Below you will find everything you need to know about forming and managing your version of NDH!

Company Rules

There are only a few Company rules that all participants need to be aware of:

  1. Companies must have 2 – 12 participants;
    Companies can operate with more than this number – SpaceSet understands student interest can wane, or new students can want to participate. Teachers and organisers need to be aware that, should a Company be invited to a Regional Final, or the ISSDC Finals, the invitation is for only twelve (12) students.
  2. Companies must have a single nominated CEO.
    This will be the primary point of contact from your SpaceSet organising committee to your Company.
  3. Participations must be 14 or older to take part in any Finals events;
    NB. Yes, this means a 13 year old can participate in a remote submission, as long as they’re turning 14 before the Regional or ISSDC Final.
  4. Participants must have a single nominated adult (18+) Mentor.
    This is regularly a teacher from the students’ school; or a parent or guardian of one of the students.

Teams In SpaceSet Events

How To Form A Company

SpaceSet events are team competitions – designing a space settlement is much more than a one-person task! It’s important to put some effort into forming your Company; the below information should help.

Remember the following when forming a SpaceSet Company:

  • The larger the Company, the more innovation and creativity generated, and – in principle – the less work each participant will have to contribute.

BUT – the larger your Company, the harder management becomes, as does the chance of communication difficulties.

  • The smaller the Company, the better the chance everyone will work smoothly and without conflict, with management and group communication becoming easier.

BUT – Each participant will have to do more work.

Editor’s Note: if you’re a student wanting to take part, consider the following:

  • Find a mentor first – maybe your favourite teacher at school. They may be able to assist with helping you find other interested students and should be able to help you use school facilities for meetings.
  • Companies normally form within schools, but some of the strongest teams are made of people from different schools.
  • Ask your friends. If you are interested, there is a good chance one or two of your friends will be as well (don’t be scared to ask; remember if you win there’s a trip to the USA!)

Group Dynamics & Team Composition

The ASDC is designed to encourage individuals to learn to operate within a group environment.  As much as there is an emphasis on research and writing of the final submission; the competition will test and develop your ability to work with people under pressure to meet deadlines.  Many (if not all) teams find this the hardest component of the Competition.

It is important to realise that everyone within a group has different values and ideas.  Each team member will have their own strengths and weaknesses.  Some will be talented at maths and science, others at English, others at design or art.  Some will be good researchers, some excellent team players, and a few good leaders.  The most successful team will be able to make use of each individual’s strengths and work through everyone’s weaknesses.

The first goal, once you have a team, is to organise the group into an effective working body.  There are many ways to do this, and there is no one correct method.  It is recommended, however, that the following elements are used:

  • President – the team must have a leader, that is formally nominated with the ASDC. This is an important job – organising the team, planning and enforcing deadlines, and running meetings.

WARNING: the person who first ‘discovered’ the ASDC may not necessarily be the best President!

  • Artist – remember that “A picture is worth a thousand words”, and it is extremely difficult to fit all of your submission within the page limit. Having a dedicated artist means you can express your ideas a lot easier.
  • Department Heads – There are five elements to the RFT, and it is important there is somebody who is looking after each one to ensure work gets done.

Beyond what is recommended above, there is no limit as to how you can organise your team.  Some teams assign every person a particular element of the RFP; other teams prefer to have as few “official positions” as possible and just work as a group.  You may even wish to employ an editor within your team, or a dedicated researcher, or someone who just does the maths and calculations.


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