NASA Scientist for a Day

The New Zealand Space Agency is running its annual ‘NASA Scientist for a Day’ writing and science competition during Term 1, 2021.

NASA scientist for a day banner

Science and English teachers of Years 7-10 are encouraged to register their interest via the link below and we will kit you out with supplies to support the space learning journey.

Register your interest(external link)

About the competition

NASA Scientist for a Day is a worldwide competition that NASA put on each year inviting students to write a 300-word essay to answer a question about our unique solar system and the exciting word of astronomy.

For the 2021 competition, students are asked to learn about three moons of Uranus — Ariel, Oberon and Titania, then write an essay of up to 300 words explaining which of these moons they would want to explore with a robotic spacecraft.

Winning students could win some seriously cool prizes and have their essays published by NASA and the New Zealand Space Agency!

The New Zealand Space Agency is encouraging teachers to take up further space education as part of their curriculum. Giving students an insight into the wonders of space and teaching space exploration is a powerful tool to inspire and engage their interest in STEM subjects and space careers.

  • Competition closes 5pm Monday, 5 April 2021
  • A panel of judges will make the final decision
  • Stay tuned to Twitter(external link) for updates

2020 winners

Our two winners from 2020 were Sophie Ineson of Southland Girls High School (Year 7-8) and Oshadha Perera of Southland Boys High School (Year 9-10). Their winning essays can be read below.

2020 prizes

Sophie and Oshadha each received a Sky-Watcher 6″ Dobsonian telescope from Astronz and the help of the Southland Astronomical Society to learn how to use them. (We hope you’ve had lots of fun with your stargazing!) Thanks to the Wellington Astronomical Society for helping organise the prizes.

2021 prizes to be announced soon!

Last updated: 11 December 2020