For the Space Tweep Society’s upcoming first anniversary “twelebration” we’ve got lots of great prizes from our four sponsors to give out. @thinkgeek, @LandsEnd4Biz, @ProachModels, and @CollectSpace have hooked us up with awesome stuff and here’s how you can get your hands on some of it. 

We will be having a series of contests. This one requires advance planning, so we are announcing it now, but there will be several contests that will only be revealed at the event. Any tweeps may enter the Make your own Meco contest. There will be two groups separately judged, one in-person for those attending the event at Fishlips, the other online, for tweeps who cannot be there. 

If you are not already aware, Meco is the name of the Space Tweep Society’s adorable little birdonaut mascot. He was named after the acronym MECO, which stands for Main Engine Cut Off, a critical point in rocket ascent. The idea is, as the name of the contest suggests, to make your own Meco. If you are thinking, “but I don’t sew” – don’t fret. You can make Meco out of nearly anything, toothpicks, legos, wax, aluminum, beads, macaroni, whatever. Entries must be fabricated, crafted, assembled, decorated, etc. by the entrant. In other words, you (and only you) must create your own entry. There are no provisions for team entries, only individuals this time around. The exception to this rule is that you may have children 12 and under help you. 

Here’s the needle felted Meco I made this weekend, for an example: 

For the in-person part of the contest, the only limitations are that Meco should be somewhat three dimensional, he should be able to fit inside a box measuring one cubic foot (i.e. 12 inches on all sides), and no pyrotechnics, hypergols, ordnance, razor blades, weapons, or hazardous materials should be used. Also keep in mind that you will have to bring your entry with you, so that may mean traveling by air with it. Construct it accordingly. 

To enter in-person, bring your entry with you to Fishlips for the anniversary event. Entries must be available for photographs, and participants agree to having photos of their Mecos posted publicly on our website. Entries remain the property of the submitter after the contest. Yes, you keep your own creations! 

For the online portion of the contest, the rules are essentially the same except there are no size or hazardous material restrictions (please don’t do anything dangerous, though). Instead of submitting a physical object, to enter online you will email good quality, unaltered photos of the Meco you create to SpaceTweepSociety at gmail dot com, by noon EDT (16:00 GMT) on May 12, 2010. You will receive a confirmation email when your entry is received. 

There is no fee to enter the contest, either the in-person or online. Prizes will be awarded to the following: most creative, most interesting use of materials, best craftsmanship, funniest, and some other areas that will be announced at the event. Prizes for the online competition will consist of gift certificates which will be emailed to the winners. Gift certificates are good for international purchases, so no one is excluded. Judging will be conducted by a diverse panel of your Tweep peers. 

I realize that there is not much time before the deadline to work on these entries. That is intentional. This is supposed to be a fast, enjoyable project, rather than something that is labored over for weeks. Have fun with it! I can’t wait to see all the Mecos!

Questions? Ask here in the comments, or tweet at @flyingjenny for a quicker response.