Half of the 50 challenges are space-related and half are generated from other agencies, like the U.S. Department of Agriculture's interest in backyard poultry farming and sustainable agriculture.
“We really focus on collaboration,” Llewellyn said. “It takes the work of many nations and many different types of experiences to keep people in space. ... Seeing them work together, seeing them learn from each other, culturally, technically, scientifically, makes all of our solutions better.”
The project will be held in Norman because a group of senior public relations students wanted to tackle this for their capstone class.
“It's really a big deal ... for our region to have this here,” senior Lauren Wright said. “It's been a learning experience all throughout this entire thing.”
About 25 people had registered for the Norman event by last week, and teams are welcome until Saturday morning, said Chloe Shelby, another OU student organizer.
And while NASA legally can't award prizes as an arm of the federal government, it can help encourage others to incubate the projects and use the projects.
Last year's winners resulted in programs that NASA has put into practice.
For more information, go online to spaceappschallenge.org, like Space Apps Challenge on Facebook or follow @spaceapps on Twitter. To see last year's winners, go online to http://2012.spaceappschallenge.org.