ASX: What ifs: Scientific Poster Competition (CANCELLED)

ASX: What ifs: Scientific Poster Competition
Saturday, May 13, 2017 -
10:00am to 12:00pm

What ifs Scientific Poster Competition is a competition organized by the Astronomy and Space Exploration Society (ASX). ASX is a non-profit organization run by the University of Toronto space community in Ontario, Canada. ASX’s purpose is to educate, excite, and inspire students, professionals, and the general public about astronomy and space.

The aim of the competition is to provide students in grades 9-12 with an opportunity to explore the field of astronomy and space science. Students will investigate a topic from an active research area and share their work with other space enthusiasts.

Students can choose to work individually or form a team with a maximum of three members. (Note: only one person in the team needs to fill out the registration form, but they will need to provide names and email addresses of the other team members.) Students may work with students in different grades (9-12) and from different schools, if they would like.

Students will present their work in form of a poster. Posters should be a regular Bristol board (22” x 28”), which can be found at a local dollar store or Staples. Students can choose to use a (larger) poster board, but that is not required.

The competition will take place 10:00am to 12:00pm on Saturday, May 13, 2017 at the University of Toronto. Students will have a chance to present their posters to professors and graduate students from the Department of Astronomy and Astrophysics at the University of Toronto. Each team will receive a certificate of participation, and prizes will be awarded to the top two posters/presentations. In addition, the winning posters will be displayed at the ASX booth for Science Rendezvous*, which takes place on the same day. We will serve light refreshments and snacks after the competition.

*Science Rendezvous is a free one-day street festival that brings cutting edge science and technology to the streets of downtown Toronto. The University of Toronto chapter partners up with our world-class laboratories, engineering design clubs, hobbyists, researchers, and scientists to introduce children and adults how science, technology, engineering, mathematics (STEM) make our everyday lives better. This year’s theme is set around scientific achievements in Canada over the past 150 years. We encourage you to take part in this festival which runs from 11:00am to 5:00pm, after the competition. To learn more about SR, visit their website: Science Rendezvous UofT.

For the competition, you can choose one of the topics listed below OR another topic you are interested in. We have provided some areas you should consider for each topic, but please feel free to look at other aspects, the hints are just to help you get started.

What if there is water on Europa, one of Jupiter’s many moons?
Things to consider: What is the potential for life on Europa? What is the significance of a spacecraft mission to Europa? What does presence of water on other celestial bodies mean for future space exploration?

What if the Milky Way collided with another galaxy?
Things to consider: What is the immediate and long-term impact on our solar system? What is the impact on life on Earth? What is the effect on the structure of the two galaxies?

What if you were developing a commercial craft for long-term space travel?
Things to consider: What are some technological/engineering challenges in designing this craft? How does long-term space travel affect the human body? What fuel source are you going to use?

If you have any questions, please contact us at

Who can attend: Students in Grades 9-12
Fee: Free
Registration: Online form
Organized by: Astronomy & Space Exploration Society
Location: University of Toronto, McLennan Physical Laboratories, Room TBA, 60 St George St., Toronto, ON  M5S 1A7