What is hypersonic flight, and why should people be excited about it?

Imagine a day when you could travel from coast to coast in less than an hour!


Such travel could become a reality with hypersonic flight — five times or more faster than the speed of sound. The Need for Speed Hypersonic Video Contest is designed to inspire the next generation of engineers and scientists who can create and sustain hypersonic technologies of the future.

The contest has two categories based on age group and academic enrollment. Students at each level are invited to use their creativity and imagination to produce two-minute videos answering one of these questions:

  • High school students: How do you think hypersonic flight could help humanity in the future?
  • College undergraduate students: What is one big challenge preventing hypersonic flight from becoming an everyday reality, and how could you envision solving it?

First prize in each category will win $1,000! Second place in each category will earn $450, third-place videos will get $200, and peoples' choice award-winners will receive $100.

Universities and governmental agencies want to encourage high school and college students to consider exciting careers in hypersonics because a large number of engineers and scientists, with a wide range of expertise, talents and skills, will be needed to develop capabilities of the future, including:

  • Using hypersonic aircraft in the Earth’s atmosphere.
  • Using humans as pilots in hypersonic aircraft.
  • Manned interstellar space missions like travel to Mars and other planets.

A coalition of universities - University of Virginia, University of Tennessee Space Institute, Georgia Institute of Technology, Ohio State University, Florida A&M University, Florida State University, Purdue University and Missouri University of Science and Technology - is working to attract high school and college students to work in fields related to hypersonics so these technologies can become a reality.

On behalf of the coalition, the Need for Speed Hypersonic Video Contest is hosted by the University of Virginia School of Engineering and is supported through funding from the Joint Hypersonics Transition Office within the U.S. Department of Defense. 

 

CATEGORIES, RULES AND ENTRY INFORMATION

  • High School Category Eligibility Information

    The Need for Speed Hypersonic Video Contest's high school category is open to all U.S. high school students, ages 13-19. Students below the age of 18 must have a parent or guardian’s permission to enter and must submit a video waiver form to allow contest organizers to use the video for contest announcements and promotions. Teams of high school students may enter, but each team member’s name must be listed on the entry form, and separate waiver forms must be submitted for each team member. Each person or team is limited to one (1) entry. Videos may not use copyrighted content unless authorized by the copyright owner. The contest is void where prohibited. Winners will be asked to submit proof of age to demonstrate eligibility in their prize categories, including copies of IDs or drivers' licenses and proof of enrollment in their schools.

    High school students are encouraged to use their creativity to produce a two-minute video answering the question:

    How do you think hypersonic flight could help humanity in the future?

  • College Category Eligibility Information

    The Need for Speed Hypersonic Video Contest is open to all U.S. undergraduate students, ages 17-23, enrolled at accredited U.S. colleges and universities. Students below the age of 18 must have a parent or guardian’s permission to enter and must submit a video waiver form to allow contest organizers to use the video for contest announcements and promotions. Teams of undergraduate students may enter, but each team member’s information must be filled out on the entry form, and separate waiver forms must be submitted for each team member. Each person or team is limited to one (1) entry. Videos may not use copyrighted content unless authorized by the copyright owner. The contest is void where prohibited. Winners will be asked to submit proof of age to demonstrate eligibility in their prize categories, including copies of IDs or drivers' licenses and proof of enrollment in their schools.

    College students are encouraged to use their creativity to produce a two-minute video answering the question:

    What is one big challenge preventing hypersonic flight from becoming an everyday reality, and how could you envision solving it?

  • Prize Details for Each Category

    Prizes will be awarded in each of the two categories - high school and college - as follows:

    First Place: $1,000

    Second Place: $450

    Third Place: $200

    Peoples’ Choice: $100

    Depending upon the number of contest submissions, honorable mentions may also be named, however there will be no cash prizes for honorable mention.

    No substitutions will be allowed for cash prizes. Winners will be responsible for any tax obligations for the prizes. Winners will be asked to submit proof of age to demonstrate eligibility in their prize categories, including copies of IDs or drivers' licenses and proof of enrollment in their schools. Contest organizers reserve the right to choose alternate winners if the original winners become ineligible for any reason, including not submitting requested documentation in a timely manner. In the event there are no eligible winners for any prize level, contest organizers reserve the right not to award those prizes, and their decision on whether and how to award prizes is final. By entering, contestants agree to these terms.

  • Contest Dates

    Contest opens: January 6, 2021

    Early-bird entry due date: 11:59 p.m. EST on March 7, 2021 - The first 25 early-bird entrants in each category get $5 Amazon gift cards!

    Regular entry due date: 11:59 p.m. EDT on May 16, 2021

    Winners will be notified around May or June 2021.

    Dates are subject to change; please watch the contest web page for updates.

  • Entry Guidelines, Materials and Online Entry Form

    All entries must be submitted using this online form.

    Entry forms must be filled out completely.

    Photo/video waiver forms must be fully completed, signed and submitted uploaded to the entry form. You can download the waiver form here. The waiver form gives contest organizers permission to use the videos for promotional purposes, such as on websites and social media channels.

    Videos should be no more than two minutes long, and must be less than 100 MB in file size.

    Videos should be in MP4 or MOV format, and should be uploaded to the entry form.

    Incomplete entries will not be judged. Contest organizers reserve the right to exclude entries that are off topic, do not adhere to contest rules and guidelines, or otherwise do not live up to the spirit of the contest. The decisions of the contest organizers are final.

    Contest organizers also reserve the right to request additional information from entrants, if needed for verification of contest and prize eligibility. Winners will be asked to submit proof of age to demonstrate eligibility in their prize categories, including copies of IDs or drivers' licenses and proof of enrollment in their schools.

  • Judging Information

    Judging will take place after the close of the contest. Eligible entries will be judged on their insightfulness in answering the question associated with their category; their creativity; how much the video submitter's passion for the subject matter comes through; and the overall quality of the video, including technical details such as focus, sound and lighting. The decisions of the judges and contest organizers will be final.

    Top videos in each category will be uploaded to YouTube and opened for a people's choice round of voting. Videos uploaded for the people's choice portion of the contest will be notified so they can invite others to vote for their videos.

Hypersonics Partner University Logos

UVA Engineering is partnered with other top universities in efforts to attract high school and college students to work in fields related to hypersonics so these technologies can become a reality.

More Information about Hypersonic Research