FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

Before the Event

During the Event

After the Event

Is this the NASA Space Apps hackathon, or something else?

Ottawa is one of over 200 cities participating in the NASA International Space Apps Challenge globally.

We also have lots of support from the Canadian Space Agency and other government departments and companies. So we like to think of this event as the NASA International Space Apps Challenge with a Canadian flavour!

Can a beginner like me enroll in the hackathon? I have little or no experience in programming.

The answer is yes!

Teams are free to create whatever solutions they want to the challenge they pick. Some solutions are technical and some aren't.

We are certain you will contribute to any team with your ideas, enthusiasm and skills. We welcome people with all kinds of experience and knowledge. This is a great (and fun) place to learn teamwork, problem solving, learn and practice new skills, and learn more about the space industry.

How much does the event cost?

It's completely free to participate. Our generous sponsors help us cover the costs and ensure the event remains free of charge.

What time should I get there on Friday?

Try to arrive at 6:00pm to check in early, and so you have a chance to look at the challenges and start networking with other attendees.

How do I get there?

The event is being hosted at Carleton University's Technology Innovation Management Program poffices located at 311 St. Patrick's Building 1125 Colonel By Drive, Carleton University. Directions are here.

Is there free parking?

Parking is available on Carleton campus. Although it is not free, there is a reduced weekend cost.

Do I need to bring a computer?

It's not required, but we do recommend it. Laptops are preferred of course but bring what you need to get the job done. Your computer will need to connect to wireless internet networks at the venue. Please note that you are solely responsible for the safety and security of your equipment.

I'm doing a hardware challenge! Do I need to bring my own supplies and tools?

Yes. You’ll need to bring any components and supplies you’ll need to build your prototype.

Anything else I should bring?

Bring your own thermos or beverage container. You may want to bring a notebook, pens markers and pencils, tape and sticky notes for designing stuff! And if you have an extra extension cord and/or power strip that’s always helpful.

Are you looking for volunteers or mentors?

Absolutely! If you're interested in helping out at the event, email us here.

Can I attend some or all of the event if I'm not registered?

While we would love to open up the event and presentations to more than just the participants, we have a limited capacity in the room due to fire safety regulations. Unfortunately you will only be able to attend if you've registered already.

How do I form a team, and how big should it be?

Start by taking a good look through the challenges and select a few that interest you. At the start of the event, all registrants will receive login information to an online collaboration place, where prospective team members can share information together. We recommend a team is at least 3 people, ideally 4-6. If there is a lot of demand for a particular challenge you can all work together but form sub-teams.

How will I know what someone else's specialty is?

Networking is important here. To put a great team together, you’ll have to walk around and talk to people. Everybody has something they can offer.

Can my team and I work offsite?

We encourage everyone to be onsite for most if not all of the weekend, because part of the fun is working alongside, and being inspired by, your fellow participants. But, we do have teams and individuals who work offsite. And there's no problem at all if you have to step in and out over the weekend - just be courteous and let your teammates know.

What if we need help solving a challenge?

We have mentors and volunteers onsite all weekend - they can provide as much or as little help as you need.

We have additional assistance from the Canadian Space Agency who can provide expert help on their challenges and data.

We also have a Slack network that allows us to communicate with our fellow Canadian cities.

And last but definitely not least - we encourage teams to help each other out over the weekend - so if you get stuck there is somebody to help you get "unstuck"!

Will food be provided?

Space Apps Ottawa is a free event, and we depend on sponsorship to provide amenities like food to participants. At the moment, the plan is to provide only snacks, but we’re working on changing that. The event is within easy walking distance of many great food options on and near Carleton University. Here are some great options right on the campus.

Are you looking for volunteers or mentors?

Absolutely! If you're interested in helping out at the event, email us here.

Can I share on my favourite social media?

Yes! If you tweet about this event, please consider using the #SpaceApps and #Ottawa hashtags. Please follow the official Space Apps Ottawa feed (https://twitter.com/SpaceAppsOttawa) to stay up-to-date on the event.

What happens if my team gets selected by the local judges?

We have two kinds of challenge: NASA and CSA challenges. On Sunday afternoon our local judges will review all team solutions and pick a shortlist for consideration by NASA or CSA. Those organizations will then review the finalists from each city and determine the overall winners. Details will be explained during the event.

While it's fun to be nominated and have a chance to win prizes, we can say from experience that the real goal of the weekend is to have fun, work together, get creative, and solve actual space problems!

Can I share on my favourite social media?

Yes! If you tweet about this event, please consider using the #SpaceApps and #Ottawa hashtags. Please follow the official Space Apps Ottawa feed (https://twitter.com/SpaceAppsOttawa) to stay up-to-date on the event.

Will pictures and video be posted after the event?

All attendees agree to a media release that allows us to post your images / videos for purposes of publicizing the event. In addition, the Canadian Space Agency requires a waiver for the same purposes. A short period after the event, we plan on posting information our attendees, teams, and winners. This may be available on our website as well as on our social media feeds.

THE WORLD NEEDS YOUR IDEAS

Space Apps gives you the opportunity to bring projects to life for a wide range of applications. We are looking forward to seeing what innovative, creative ideas you bring to the community this year.

Space Apps is your chance to experience, experiment, and explore solutions to our universe’s biggest challenges!