We want you to explore your imagination and capture the excitement of exploring space. You can create an amazing new version of Richard's story, a flight of imagination about your own future trip to space, or a science class video to help others understand the science you need to get to and live in space. You are in charge and the countdown has started. The prizes available are out of this world....

Video message - How to make a good video

Below are some general pointers on creating and submitting your competition entry. Please also see the Competition Introduction page and make sure you or your teacher have read the Rules.

You can also find useful information in the Other Resources and Links page.

How to write a story?

A story has three main parts, a beginning, middle and an end. Stories can be funny, sad, exciting in fact they can be whatever you want. When you are writing a story think about who will be reading it, what sort of style of language do you want to use, and what’s the main idea you want to get over. What do you want people to feel when they are reading it and what do you want them to remember after they finish? Plan your story before you start, then write it. Go back to it after a little while and read it again, often you will find a way to make it better before you write the final version. Finally check the spelling and that grammar, and that you have written your name on it, and you're ready to go.

What is a 'mashup'?

A mashup is when you take existing pictures, bits of video, music, text, whatever you fancy, and pull it all together to create something new and exciting. There are loads of amazing digital tools you can use to edit music and movies, manipulate pictures, and then stick them all together. A mashup should be an amazing way to tell your story, but remember that you normally can't use other people's stuff without their permission - it's against copyright law. The stuff on this site is all OK to use, but be aware that the competition rules forbid you from using copyrighted materials.

And don't forget, you can also add material which you have filmed or recorded yourself, such as a 'piece to camera' or a voice over.

What is 'Copyright' and why is it important?

Copyright is important: it’s the rule that protects people from having their work used by others without their permission. People spend a lot of time and money creating images, TV shows, movies, music, and all manner of digital stuff. Even though it’s on the web it doesn’t mean you can use it without permission. Some stuff on the web is 'copyright free' - people want you to use it, like the materials on this site. But when you are making your entries remember to not use other people's stuff unless you know for sure that its is free to use and you have their permission. You should certainly avoid using clips and pictures from TV shows and cartoons and most music on the web. The best thing to do is create your own stuff - that way it's all yours and you can do what you like with it! So get creative! And sorry, if your entry contains copyrighted material from others, it won’t be eligible.

Can I make multiple submissions?

As time marches on new space stories emerge and new resources may arrive on the Our Space website, so to ensure you can keep up to date with the stories that excite you, you are allowed to make up to three entries before the closing date midday (GMT) on 1 July 2010. Your latest entry, submitted before the competition closes, will be the one we judge.

Does an entry need to be all my own work?

If you are entering for one of the Grand Prizes, your entry needs to be all your own individual work, and you will need to confirm that is the case when you submit it. Working individually will allow you to tell us your ideas in the way you want.

What about working in a team?

If you are entering for the class prize, kindly donated by our friends at the National Space Center, you can of course enter work produced by a team, class projects and so on. Your teacher needs to submit these on behalf of your class. Working in a team lets you create more, but you need to plan things better. Remember also that the maximum number of students that can be accommodated in the Challenger experience is 34 students in total. So teachers and educators, when you submit entries on behalf of your class, whether individuals or team entries, please keep this limit in mind.

I’ve worked hard on it - can I use my entry for other competitions?

Yes. We don't mind if you send your entries to other competitions - but you should check the other competitions' rules first to be sure that is okay. Just let us know in the comments box when you submit your entry that this is what you intend to do. Check out the Royal Commonwealth Society competition, the SciCast competition and your local Big Bang competitions as examples of where your Our Space entry could also be used. If you have created something exciting, why not share it with others.

What and how to upload to enter

There are a few important things you need to remember about the type of entry that is acceptable:

If you are submitting video, our preferred file formats are:

  • .wmv (Windows media file)
  • .m4v (Quicktime or iPod movie)

However, we can also accept videos in the following formats:

  • .avi
  • .mov

You can also submit your entry as a PowerPoint or Keynote presentation. However, if your presentation includes multi-media files (ie video or audio), you must make sure these are included with your main file. You will need to put all of this into a 'zipped' folder, or convert the presentation into a video file in order to submit it. You can research how to do this on the internet, or ask your teacher. We will also be putting further guidance about this on the 'Tips and Guidance' page in due course.

If you are submitting a document, please convert it into PDF format first. Ask your teacher if you do not know how to do this. There are various free software downloads available which can help you create a PDF, such as CutePDF, or you may have software which does this already installed on a computer at school, such as the full version of Adobe Acrobat. Microsoft Office 2007 also allows you to save a document as a PDF. If you do not submit your document as a PDF, we cannot guarantee that we will see it in the same format you created it, due to compatibility issues that can occur between different computers.

The maximum file size for your entries is 50Mb, and the length of your video or presentation should be no more than 3 mins.

To submit your entry, you will need to log in to the Competition section of this website. (If you do not have log in details, you can sign-up, or ask your teacher in case they have already acquired log-in details for you). Enter the information required and click Browse to locate your file. Once you have checked that you have selected the correct file, click Submit to upload your entry to our competition system. The upload may take a few minutes, but once complete you will receive a confirmation message.

And don't forget to make sure you have put your name, age and school clearly on the entry itself, (eg at the start of your video or on the first page of your essay).

Good luck!

If you need further help, please contact us.

Join the Competition

The deadline for entries to the Our Space competition has now passed.

Announcements about winners will be made on this site later in July 2010. You can still make free use of any of the resources available on this website. For any enquiries, please contact info@our-space.org.