Monday, 16 July 2018 | 

The Cassini Scientist for a Day 2017

Be part of the Cassini science team with a spacecraft as your remote laboratory!

The Cassini Scientist for a Day contest challenges students to become NASA scientists studying Saturn. The competition is designed to give students a taste of life as a space scientist. How does it work?

Step 1: Examine three possible observations taken by the Cassini spacecraft in orbit around Saturn. Click on the images below to watch a short video on each topic.

Target 1 Target 2 Target 3
Enceladus' Plumes: These active ice geysers are feeding one of Saturn's rings. Titan's Lakes: The only world, beyond Earth, that has liquid lakes on its surface. Saturn's Hexagon: The north pole of Saturn has an unexpected shape.

Step 2: Learn about Saturn, its fascinating features and mysterious moons. Once your research is complete, choose one of the three targets you think would yield the best scientific results.

Step 3: Write an essay of up to 500 words explaining your choice. Just like real scientists do, explain what you hope to learn from the image you have selected.

Step 4: Submit your essay to cassiniplanet@gmail.com by the 30th April 2017.

Contest Rules

  • This opportunity is open to all Primary and Secondary school students in Malaysia.
  • Students can work alone or in teams of up to four students.
  • All submissions must be students' original work. Entries containing plagiarized material will be disqualified.
  • Each student or team may submit ONLY one entry.
  • Do not include direct contact information for students under age 18. All communication will be conducted between the secretariat and the students' teacher.
  • Essays that are longer than 500 words will be disqualified.
  • Use only plain text (NO images or attachments). Attachments will not be accepted.
  • Students are encourage to write their essays in English. However, students may choose to write in Bahasa Melayu.
  • Communication skills are an important part of being a scientist. Spelling and grammar will be considered in addition to the ideas expressed in the essay.
  • Essays writers will be divided into two categories:
  1. Primary school students
  2. Secondary school students
  • Write an essay (500 words maximum) explaining which one of the three imaging targets you think is most interesting, and explain why. If Cassini could only take one of these three images, which one would you choose?

To Enter the Contest

  • By participating, students agree to assign copyright to the Planetarium Negara (PN) and Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) so that PN, JPL and NASA can post the essays, as excerpts or in their entirety, on PN and NASA web sites, along with the authors' name, grade, school, city, and state.
  • Entries must be submitted ONLY by teachers.

Note to Teachers

  • Teachers must use official essay contest entry form.
  • Teachers are encouraged to use this contest as a class assignment. However, you can ONLY submit the top three essays from your school for us to judge.
  • Only the top three essays from each school will be included in the judging.
  • Please complete and send your contest entry forms and essays to cassiniplanet@gmail.com.
  • If you have questions, contact us at tkjong@planet.gov.my.

Certificates and Prizes

  • The decision of the judges is final.
  • All winners of each category will receive a certificate and special prize.
  • Once winners are selected, winners' teachers will be contacted and asked to provide a photograph of the student(s) to post on PN and NASA website along with the winning essays.
  • Parents/guardians must submit written authorization to let us post the photos online.
  • All winning essays will be submitted to NASA and published on their websites for the International Edition Winners.

Download Contest Information

Contact Information

Cassini Scientist for a Day Secretariat
National Planetarium
Ministry of Science, Technology and Innovation (MOSTI)
Lot 53, Jalan Perdana, 50480 Kuala Lumpur

Tel                   : 03-2273 4303 / 5484
Fax                  : 03-2273 5488
Website          : http://www.planetariumnegara.gov.my

For essay submission, email : cassiniplanet@gmail.com
For contest enquiry, email    : tkjong@planet.gov.my

Tarikh Program: 
Monday, March 20, 2017