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Last Updated: Wednesday, 1 February 2006, 14:38 GMT
Get your idea into outer space
Sarah Campbell went to a school in Uttoxeter
Growing space cress at a school in Uttoxeter
Where would we be without cordless power drills, bar codes for supermarket scanners or domestic smoke detectors?

Not in outer space, apparently.

All these innovations - and many more - have come out of the last four decades of the space programme.

Bar codes, for instance, were first designed to help NASA keep track of its spare parts. Smoke detectors were installed in Skylab in 1973, to detect toxic gases in the crew's quarters.

Now, the search is on for the next big idea to revolutionise space travel.

The organisers of the Edge into Space competition are looking for practical ideas for inventions which can be used in space - or brought back to earth.

The project is aimed at teenagers aged between 13 and 17. The idea behind it is to stimulate interest in science and technology teaching in schools and colleges.

  • This morning on Breakfast

    Breakfast's Sarah Campbell reported live from a school in Uttoxeter, which is putting the final touches to its entry.

    There are details below on how to enter the competition. But don't forget it closes this Sunday. (March 19)

    Edge into space competition

  • How to enter

  • Please note that this competition is NOT run by Breakfast, or by the BBC. It's jointly organised by the educational foundation Edge and Isset, the International Space School Educational Trust.

    They have devised the competition, set the rules and will choose the winners.

  • You must be aged 13-17 years old to enter. You'll need your school or college's help to form a team, and you'll need to be able to describe your invention in detail, even if you can't make it.

  • It's only open to UK residents

  • All entries must go via the Edge into Space website: don't sent them to Breakfast because we won't be able to pass them on.

  • What they're looking for:

    The organisers want suggestions for invenstions which can be made in space - or for adapting space technology for use on earth.

    You don't actually have to manufacture the item, but you do ned to describe it and outline who would benefit and how you'd go about marketing it.

  • What's on offer:

    The prize winners will win a two week trip to NASA's space camps in Houston and Florida this summer.

    They'll get the chance to meet the astronauts and the teams who work with them - and to find out just what their training involves.

  • The closing date is 19 March 2006, so you'll have to be quick if you want to be in with a chance.

  • Find out more from the Edge into Space website, or by watching the clip from the link above

    Space competition
    Sarah Campbell reports from a school in Uttoxeter

    BBC Breakfast


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