Sep 16, 2019 2019-09-16
K–12 students in US public, private, and home schools can enter NASA’s Mars 2020 Name the Rover essay contest. One grand-prize winner will name the rover and be invited to see the spacecraft launch in July 2020 from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida. The Name the Rover contest is part of NASA’s efforts to engage students in the STEM enterprise behind Mars exploration and inspire interest in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics. To enter the contest, students should submit their proposed rover name and a short essay, no more than 150 words, explaining why their proposed name should be chosen. The essays will be divided into three groups, by grade level—K–4, 5–8, and 9–12. They will be judged on the appropriateness, significance, and originality of proposed name; originality and quality; and finalist interview presentation. Fifty-two semifinalists will be selected per group, each representing their respective state or US territory. Three finalists will then be selected from each group to advance to the final round. As part of the final selection process, the public will have an opportunity to vote online on the nine finalists in January 2020. NASA plans to announce the selected name on February 18, 2020—exactly one year before the rover will land on the surface of Mars.
Deadline: November 1, 2019, for submissions
Plus: Students and teachers can send their own names on future Mars missions. To fly along, they need to submit their individual names by September 30, 2019, 11:59 p.m. (ET).