General Provisions

The rules noted herein are subject to change and may, from time to time, be updated by the SSIC management. All updates shall be announced publicly on the SSIC website and through the SSIC email newsletter. It is the responsibility of participants to ensure their understanding of and compliance with the SSIC rules. Questions about the SSIC rules should be sent to: The SSIC management shall not provide responses to questions that are specific to the team’s project. Failure to adhere to the rules noted herein shall be cause for disqualification from the Challenge. Determination of disqualification shall be at the sole discretion of the SSIC management. Any decision of disqualification is final.


  1. Age: students must be no younger than 13 years old and no older than 24 years old by August 1st, of the respective year of the competition.
  2. Country: students may be from any country.
  3. Grades: students competing in the High School Division must be in 9th through 12th grades. Students competing in the University Division must be in an undergraduate degree program.
  4. Educational Organizations: students may be in any type of schooling; formal, informal, home-schooled, etc.
  5. Student Team Limitation: students may be on no more than one team.
  6. Team Members: teams may include between one to three students.
  7. Adult Coach: each team must have an adult “coach” noted on the submission that is not also serving as a team member.
  8. Limitations on the number of teams per coach: there are no limitations on the number of teams a coach may support.
  9. Limitations on the number of teams per organization: organizations may submit as many teams as they like so long as the teams adhere to all rules and regulations herein. There is no limitation on the number of teams in the SSIC from any organization.
  10. Past Participant Limitations: Students who have participated in past Cohorts of the SSIC may participate again under the following stipulations: Teams may not use the same Innovation Submission, or a significantly similar Submission as was used in a prior year. Definition of what constitutes a significantly similar project topic is up to the determination of the SSIC Judging Committee.


  1. User registration: all student participants and team coaches shall register as users on the Institute of Competition Sciences (ICS) online platform. Participants must have a user account in order to officially register a team for the SSIC.
  2. Team Registration: to compete for the SSIC, a team must be registered on the ICS platform. Team registration can be completed by a student Team Member or by the Team Coach. The user that creates the team shall become the Team Administrator with capabilities to add or remove other team members.
  3. Team Members: all students participating on a team shall be added as Team Members by the Team Administrator. Team Members shall have capabilities to upload, edit, or remove team submissions.
  4. Team Coach: all participating teams must have a team coach registered as a user on the ICS platform.
  5. Changing Team Members: a team may add or remove a team member at any time prior to the submission deadline without notification to the SSIC staff. The official Team Roster shall be the members listed on the Team’s ICS dashboard at the time of the submission.


  1. All submissions must be the work of the student team members.
  2. A team’s coach or other adult mentors may provide guidance to the team; however, they may not make excessive contributions to the project submissions. Excessive contributions are defined as: a) Creating any parts of the team’s pitch deck or research paper. b) Developing the content of the team’s video presentation. The coach may provide logistical support in recording the video, but the structure, content, and information included in the video must be the work of the students.
  3. Submissions may not plagiarize material, all facts, figures, charts, or other information used must be cited.
  4. All submission materials shall be submitted electronically through the Institute of Competition Sciences’ (ICS) online platform.
  5. Submissions must be uploaded by the submission deadline noted on the SSIC website. No late submissions will be allowed.
  6. A complete submission includes the following two items:
    High School Division: a) Pitch Deck: a slide deck containing up to 12 slides describing the team’s proposed Space Station innovation. b) Recorded Video Presentation: a publicly accessible video recording of no more than 10 minutes in length presenting the team’s proposed Space Station innovation.
    University Division: a) Research Paper:
    a report up to 10 pages describing the team’s proposed Space Station innovation.
    b) Recorded Video Presentation: a publicly accessible video recording of no more than 10 minutes in length presenting the team’s proposed Space Station innovation.
  7. Additional detail on the submission content and structure is provided in the SSIC Program Guide and materials available on the ICS Team Dashboard.


  1. Submission judging is conducted by a committee of Space Station Innovation Challenge advisors following a scoring rubric.
  2. The evaluation criteria included in the scoring rubric shall be provided to teams on the SSIC website and in their program materials on the ICS Team Dashboard.
  3. Best in Show awards shall be conferred upon teams by the judging committee in both a quantitative and qualitative review.
  4. Evaluation of the Judging Committee is final.


  1. The SSIC provides up to six Best-in-Show awards in the High School Division and up to six Best-in-Show awards in the University Division.
  2. Each Award includes the following:
    a) Recognition during the Live SSIC Closing Ceremony
    b) Recognition on the SSIC website
    c) Recognition on the SSIC social media accounts.
    d) Live or video and written feedback on the team’s project from the SSIC Advisory Board.
    e) Certificates of Recognition for each team member and coach shall be emailed to the email address provided by the team coach.

Code of Conduct

All SSIC participants are held to high personal ethical standards. We expect all participants to treat others with respect and courtesy. Participants should be considerate of the diverse backgrounds and perspectives of others. The decisions you make and actions you conduct during your participation in the Challenge should be honest and truthful to the best of your ability and should refrain from disparaging other participants in any way. We trust that you will not conduct yourself in a matter that tampers with the outcomes, fabricates submissions, or plagiarizes content. If at any point you are unsure about the ethical conduct of your team, please reach out to the SSIC management for clarification. Failure to abide by the SSIC Code of Conduct may result in the team’s disqualification from the Challenge. All SSIC participants shall adhere to the following codes of conduct:

Sportsmanship: participants shall not make disparaging remarks about other participants of the SSIC or their work. Participants are expected to conduct themselves according to the following rules of good sportsmanship:

  1. Treat other participants, judges, mentors, staff, and volunteers with respect, regardless of race, sex, creed, ability or any other factor.
  2. Encourage good sportsmanship in all participants and assist in maintaining a respectful environment for all. Provide positive support and encouragement to team members, and other teams alike.
  3. Refrain from making offensive or disparaging remarks about another team’s project or participants.
  4. Refrain from making offensive or disparaging remarks about individuals supporting the SSIC including but not limited to: personnel, staff, mentors, judges, and volunteers. Recognize that all supporters of the SSIC are conducting themselves so as to organize and manage the best academic challenge possible. If you have a concern with the manner in which the SSIC is conducted, follow the petition process mentioned below to bring up a specific concern.
  5. Be courteous to opposing teams, judges, mentors, staff, and volunteers at all times.
  6. Recognize that judges are donating their time and are doing their best to make unbiased, fair and timely decisions.
  7. Accept the decisions of judges as final, and with good grace. If you have a specific concern with how the judging process was conducted you may bring it up with the SSIC staff by contacting

Plagiarism: participants shall not plagiarize materials of any kind in their work for the SSIC. Plagiarism includes, but is not limited to, the use of another’s words or ideas as if they are one’s own. Plagiarism and any kind of academic cheating are grounds for dismissal from the Challenge.