Through its Artemis program, NASA will land the first woman and next man on the Moon by 2024, using innovative technologies to explore more of the lunar surface than ever before. NASA is collaborating with commercial and international partners to establish sustainable exploration by the end of the decade and to apply what is learned to take the next giant leap—sending astronauts to Mars.
K-12 Artemis Moon Pod Student Essay Contest
NASA is inviting students in kindergarten through Grade 12 to join the Artemis adventure. Through its challenge, students can imagine “what it might be like if you were living with a pod of astronauts 250,000 miles from Earth.”
In the challenge, students write essays focusing on leading a one-week expedition at the Moon’s South Pole. Plans and details of the expedition should consider the types of skills, attributes, and personality traits of their Moon Pod crew, and one machine, robot, or technology that will be left on the lunar surface to help future astronauts explore the Moon.
Three levels of challenges are being held for students in Grades K-4, 5-8, and 9-12. Every student who submits an entry will receive a certificate from NASA and be invited to a special NASA virtual event—with an astronaut! For all entry requirements and judging criteria, please read the rules. Students and teachers can sign up and submit their entry at the contest site. Even if you are not a student you can still participate. U.S. residents over the age of 18 can apply to be judges for the contest to help NASA make their selection.
The essay competition is being managed by a web-based platform developed by Future Engineers based in Burbank, California. This platform was created with the support of a 2017 award from the IES Small Business Innovation Research program (ED/IES SBIR). Future Engineers built this platform to be an online hub for classrooms and educators to access free, project-based STEM activities and to provide a portal where students submit and compete in different kinds of maker and innovation challenges across the country. The Artemis essay contest follows the Mars 2020 “Name the Rover” contest, which was also managed by Future Engineers. (See the recap of that challenge here.)
Stay tuned for the winning essays in the months to come!
Edward Metz (Edward.Metz@ed.gov) is a research scientist at the Institute of Education Sciences at the US Department of Education and Program Manager of ED/IES SBIR.
Katherine Brown is the lead communication specialist for the Office of STEM Engagement at NASA.
About ED/IES SBIR
The U.S. Department of Education’s Small Business Innovation Research program, administered by the Institute of Education Sciences (IES), funds projects to develop education technology products designed to support students, teachers, or administrators in general or special education. The program emphasizes rigorous and relevant research to inform iterative development and to evaluate whether fully developed products show promise for leading to the intended outcomes. The program also focuses on commercialization once the award period ends so that products can reach students and teachers and be sustained over time. ED/IES SBIR-supported products are currently used by millions of students in thousands of schools around the country.
About NASA’s Office of STEM Engagement
NASA’s journeys have propelled technological breakthroughs, pushed the frontiers of scientific research, and expanded our understanding of the universe. These accomplishments, and those to come, share a common genesis: education in science, technology, engineering, and math. NASA’s Office of STEM Engagement strives to create unique opportunities for a diverse set of students to contribute to NASA’s work in exploration and discovery; build a diverse future STEM workforce by engaging students in authentic learning experiences with NASA’s people, content and facilities; and attract diverse groups of students to STEM through learning opportunities that spark interest and provide connections to NASA’s mission and work. To achieve these goals, NASA’s Office of STEM Engagement strives to inspire the next generation to discover their way to a new era of American innovation and explore further into space than ever before.