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NASA: Scientist for a Day

NASA's Cassini mission to Saturn may have ended in 2017, but its educational legacy lives on in numerous ways, including NASA's annual essay contest called Scientist for a Day. Both STEM and English teachers may be interested in assigning this essay contest to their students, which "challenges students in grades 5-12 to think like NASA scientists." For each year's contest, students research three specified locations in space, then based on their research decide which one would be the best for NASA to study further. For example, this year students are asked to learn about Saturn's moons Enceladus and Titan, as well as Jupiter's moon Europa and consider whether any of them could be habitable. As their contest entry, students write a 500-word essay explaining their choice. The winning essays - with one chosen for each topic in each grade group - will be posted on NASA's Solar System Exploration website (featured in the 6-18-2018 Scout Report), and US winners have the opportunity to participate in a video or teleconference with NASA scientists. Students outside the US may also be eligible to enter through their country's national coordinator. The deadline for the 2018-2019 contest is February 8, 2019.
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