Story last updated at 9/11/2013 - 5:46 pm
NASA's Cassini Scientist for a Day essay contest is open to students in grades 5 to 12. The contest is part of NASA's Cassini Solstice Mission, which has been exploring Saturn since 2004 with an unmanned spacecraft.
Students choose which of three targets they think will yield the best science, and write an essay explaining their choice. The three targets are: Saturn's moon Iapetus, Saturn's moon Dione, and the planet Saturn. Computer-simulated pictures of the targets are posted at: http://saturn.jpl.nasa.gov/scientistforaday/. You can download a flyer at: http://saturn.jpl.nasa.gov/files/CassiniSFAD_flyer_508FC1.pdf
The contest deadline is Oct. 25. U.S. teachers can enter their students' essays via an online form that will be posted on the above website within the next month or so. Winning essays by U.S. and international students will be posted on the Cassini website. NASA encourages special education students to participate in the contest. Although there is a 500-word maximum for the essays, there is no minimum length, and all students who write an essay will receive a certificate of participation.