Wednesday, February 08, 2012

First Lady Michelle Obama Announces ASAP Innovation Competition; $500 K In Prizes

The Let's Move! campaign will have a renewed emphasis on physical fitness initiatives in 2012, and First Lady Michelle Obama is looking for brilliant ideas and projects to share with America. Mrs. Obama has just announced the ASAP Innovation Competition, created to discover and reward school-based physical activity programs and technological innovations that get kids moving. The contest has a prize pot worth half a million dollars, and will award individual winners $100,000.

“We know there’s so much good work going on all across this country to get our kids up and moving every single day,” Mrs. Obama said. “So we want to find the best school programs and technology ideas that increase physical activity for kids – and then help them reach even more children throughout America.”

The contest is part of the Active Schools Acceleration Project (ASAP), founded by the ChildObesity180 foundation in conjunction with Partnership for a Healthier America, the foundation that supports the Let's Move! campaign. Top winners will participate in funded pilot programs for their projects. The contest is now open for entries, and the deadline is April 2, 2012.

>More information, application is at

Categories and deadline...
There are two categories: “School Programs” and “Technology Innovation.” Top winners will participate in funded pilot studies "aimed at expanding the reach and impact of the projects," according to the White House.

Schools: Teachers, schools, and entire districts are encouraged to submit in-school physical activity programs --from curriculua, environmental modifications, events, or other initiatives that promote quality school-time physical activity -- in the “School Programs” category.

Technology: Winners in the “Technology Innovation” category will "demonstrate how an existing or emerging technology can be used to inspire kids to be physically active. This can include tracking and measurement systems, software applications, innovative uses of social media, gaming, smart phones, and more."

“TVs and computers can sometimes be an impediment to physical activity,” said the First Lady, “but we also know we can harness the power of technology to get our kids up and active.”

To repeat, applications will be accepted through April 2, 2012.

*AP photo of Mrs. Obama celebrating her Jan. 17 birthday with the World Champion St. Louis Cardinals