Clear Creek High School of
League City, Texas, was proclaimed the winner of the 10th Annual International
Space Settlement Design Competition held at Kennedy Space Center, Fla., for
its design of a human settlement on the planet Mars. Members of the Boeing
-sponsored group beat out seven other teams for the coveted honor.

Screams, shouts and other sounds of joy from the Clear Creek students
filled the Kennedy Space Center visitors complex when the announcement was
made Monday evening. Though tired after three days and more than 44 hours of
competing against seven other high school finalist teams from Colorado,
California, Florida, Maryland and Australia to design a Mars settlement, the
Clear Creek team could not contain its exuberance.

“I was so thankful because I had been to previous competitions, and we had
not won. But this was overwhelming,” says Evan Sattem, Clear Creek High
School team president and entering junior. “It was a great experience.”

This year marked the fifth time Clear Creek represented the state at the
competition, which was held July 12-14. The local nine-member team had
alternate students from Houston-area Cypress Fairbanks, Memorial and Carnegie
Vanguard high schools.

Clear Creek team coaches Chula Bryant and Camille Sullivan say they are
proud and appreciate the hard work that the students put into the competition.

“Boeing has sponsored us for the past five years,” said Bryant. “Thanks
to the company’s continued encouragement and the students’ determination, the
team made the grade, as it were. Victory truly is sweet.” Headquartered in
Houston, Clear Creek team sponsor Boeing NASA Systems is a business unit of
Boeing Integrated Defense Systems.

The eight teams were paired, given corporate identities and asked to
compete against each other for the best settlement design proposal. Each
paired team acted as an independent aerospace company vying for a contract to
design a settlement on Mars.

Clear Creek was paired with students from Whitney High School in Cerritos,
Calif., to form the fictitious company of Dougeldyne AstroSystems & Flechtel
Constructors. Each member of the winning paired team received a trophy,
engraved medal and a certificate.

Individuals worked within a realistic industry organizational chart, and
space industry professionals volunteered to serve as “CEO” of each of the
fictional companies for the competition. The contest emulates, as closely as
possible, the experience of working on an industry proposal team with
participants utilizing engineering, technical and management skills.
Additionally, the students had to use sound science to support their design.

Jon Zelon, long-time Clear Creek team mentor and Boeing International
Space Station manager, says, “We are all exited. I’ve been doing this with
these guys for five years, so it’s always nice when you can win one. Saying
that I am proud still doesn’t completely convey how I truly feel.”

The annual international competition was sponsored by the American
Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics (AIAA), an organization dedicated to
advancing the arts, sciences, and aeronautics and astronautics technology. To
qualify, student teams submitted proposals earlier this year for a space
settlement orbiting in the asteroid belt between Mars and Jupiter. The
written entries were reviewed and judged by engineers from AIAA.

A unit of The Boeing Company, Integrated Defense Systems is one of the
world’s largest space and defense businesses. Headquartered in St. Louis,
Boeing Integrated Defense Systems is a $25 billion business. It provides
systems solutions to its global military, government and commercial customers.
It is a leading provider of intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance; the
world’s largest military aircraft manufacturer; the world’s largest satellite
manufacturer and a leading provider of space-based communications; the primary
systems integrator for U.S. missile defense; NASA’s largest contractor; and a
global leader in launch services.