NASA invites students to help name their next rover! Launched from Florida in the summer of 2020, NASA's fifth crest to visit the Red Planet is designed to study past life-sustaining environments, look for signs of ancient microbial life, collect rock samples and soil for a possible future return to Earth, and testing technologies that could produce oxygen from the Martian atmosphere for human use one day. But before he can do that, he needs a name.
Following in the footsteps of NASA's four previous rovers, the agency asks students to suggest a name. The first rover, which landed in 1997, was called the Microrover Flight Experiment, until a 12-year-old Connecticut student suggested the name Sojourner, in honor of the cancellation and women's rights activist Sojourner Truth. In 2004, a third-grade Arizona student called the NASA Twins "Spirit and Opportunity." Curiosity, which landed in 201
In order to enter the Rover Eseay Name Contest, individual students must submit an essay of up to 150 words by November 1, 2019. In their essay, students will have to suggest the name that they think is most appropriate for the Rover, and to explain their reasoning. The judges will select three finalists (one of grades K-4, 5-8 and 9-12) from each US state and territory. From there, the judges will narrow down the finalists further before choosing a final name in the spring of 2020.
So what makes a good name? There are many ways to get inspired, but students need to get started by learning about rovers as well as the Red Planet and why we are exploring. But they don't have to stop there. There are many ways to spark ideas from students, including writing planetary poetry, making space art, and getting them to build their own rovers. Get students thinking and writing creatively and encourage them to submit an essay!
›Enter the Contest
The Contest is open to US residents enrolled in Kindergarten through Grade 12 at an American school (including US Territories and US-operated schools for children of US personnel in abroad). Home school students can also submit a name!
TAGS: Mars, Rover, Competition, Mars 2020, K-12 Education, STEM, Language Arts, Essays, Science, Students