Sony Pictures and XPRIZE launch "After Earth" Challenge

Posted by David Eicher
on Thursday, April 25, 2013

Our good friends who work with Sony Pictures, Warren Betts and Brian Boothe, yesterday sent word of a new contest called the XPRIZE After Earth Challenge. This contest will engage students in science, mathematics, and technology to enter a robotics competition to win a large array of prizes, all relating to XPRIZE and Sony Pictures’ motion picture After Earth, starring Jaden Smith and Will Smith, and directed by M. Night Shyamalan. The film will be in theaters May 31, and producers have already created an education plan for kids based off of the science implications in the film After Earth at

For more information, see the press release that follows:

CULVER CITY, Calif., April 24, 2013 – Sony Pictures Entertainment, Overbrook Entertainment, and XPRIZE will launch an unprecedented robotics competition celebrating the highly anticipated release of After Earth, in theaters May 31. Through an immersive two-stage competition, the XPRIZE After Earth Challenge propels individuals to engage in meaningful discussions regarding space exploration and environmental sustainability, while applying fundamental principles of science, technology, engineering, arts, and mathematics in navigating the fictitious universe of After Earth. The competition launches April 24, 2013, at

The XPRIZE After Earth Challenge puts participants in the shoes of a Ranger cadet, exploring the relationship between survival and sustainability while completing a mission to send an unmanned rover to explore Nova Prime, the human race’s new home in After Earth. Eligible teams (2–5 students between ages 13 and 17 with one adult captain) of the XPRIZE After Earth Challenge can register for a chance to win by visiting beginning on Wednesday, April 24, 2013, at 12:01 a.m. PDT, through 11:59 p.m. PDT, Friday, June 7, 2013.

In Phase 1 of the challenge, teams will create 2–3 minute video essays that answer targeted questions and describe their thinking on the importance of space exploration and the relationship between sustainability and survival. Video entries will be judged, and 10 teams will be selected to move forward to Phase 2 of the contest.

In Phase 2, the top 10 teams from the previous phase will receive a LEGO® MINDSTORMS® kit to use for their mission and a Sony Handycam® HDR-PJ230 camcorder to document their experience. They will design and build a Nova Prime landscape (playfield), upon which their LEGO MINDSTORMS robot will complete a series of mission tasks in one or more of four thematic areas: (1) Natural Resources, (2) Renewable Energy, (3) Agriculture, and (4) Shelter/Protection. Teams will showcase their Robot, Landscape, and Mission Tasks in a live performance in their community, which will be uploaded to the website for the judges.

The winning team will be highlighted in a special feature about the XPRIZE After Earth Challenge on the U.S. Blu-ray disc* of After Earth, and all members of that winning team will receive a signed Blu-ray and other cool prizes.

The Grand Prize winner will be announced August 9, 2013.

*Complete rules and regulations can be found at

“XPRIZE is proud and excited to join the creative teams of Overbrook Entertainment and Sony Pictures Entertainment for the XPRIZE After Earth Challenge,” said Dr. Peter H. Diamandis, chairman and CEO of XPRIZE.  “After Earth is not only a spectacular science fiction adventure but it also underscores the importance of protecting our planet, something we value deeply at XPRIZE. We are pleased to partner with the visionary team at Overbrook to present a complimentarily themed educational competition focusing on the sustainability of the Earth.”

Caleeb Pinkett, a producer of the film, added, “The XPRIZE After Earth challenge is an innovative way to get students excited about the film, the franchise, and the ideas that inspired them both, while using a combination of real-world science and science-fiction to fuel young people’s passion for preserving this planet.”

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