The Power to Explore Challenge, open to students in kindergarten through 12th grade in U.S. public, private, and homeschools, is accepting entries from Tuesday, Feb. 15 through Wednesday, April 13, 2022.
NASA is inviting students to participate in a writing challenge to explore how it powers some of its most famous missions. The contest also encourages participants to learn something about themselves in the process. The Power to Explore Challenge, open to students in kindergarten through 12th grade in U.S. public, private, and homeschools, is accepting entries from Tuesday, Feb. 15 through Wednesday, April 13, 2022.
The competition asks students to learn about Radioisotope Power Systems (RPS), a type of nuclear battery that NASA uses to explore some of the most extreme destinations in our solar system and beyond. Students will write about one inspiring aspect of this space power system and their own power to achieve future goals.
Building upon a 60-year legacy, NASA’s RPS program works in partnership with the Department of Energy to deliver power systems and technology for science missions to some of the most distant, dustiest, darkest, and harshest environments in the solar system. RPS enable NASA to explore the surface of Mars with the Curiosity and Perseverance rovers, Pluto with the New Horizons spacecraft, and interstellar space with Voyager 1 and 2.
The NASA Power to Explore Challenge offers students the opportunity to learn more about these reliable power systems and to interact with our diverse workforce. To participate, students must submit their entries by 11:59 p.m. EDT (8:59 p.m. PDT) April 13, 2022. Entries should include a written summary of no more than 200 words that explains one specific use of a Radioisotope Power System that inspires them, followed by an explanation of their unique power that will help them to achieve one or more long-term goals in their life.
Entries will be split into three categories: grades K-4, 5-8, and 6-12. Every student who submits an entry will receive a digital certificate and an invitation to a virtual event with NASA RPS experts, where students will learn about what powers the NASA workforce to dream big and explore. Fifteen national winners in each grade category (45 winners total) will be announced on May 24. These eligible winners will also receive a NASA RPS prize pack.
For all contest and prize details, including education resources, visit the Power to Explore contest website.
NASA is seeking volunteers to help judge the entries anticipated to be submitted from around the country. U.S. residents interested in offering approximately five hours of their time completed over a 10-day period should register to be a judge.
About the Challenge
The challenge is funded the NASA Science Mission Directorate’s RPS Program Office and administered by Future Engineers under the NASA Open Innovation Services 2 contract. This contract is managed by the NASA Tournament Lab, a part of the Prizes, Challenges, and Crowdsourcing Program in NASA’s Space Technology Mission Directorate.
NASA Glenn Research Center