Cassini Scientist For A Day Essay Contest 2012 Toyota

4 March 2013

Students from across Europe have been selected as winners of the Cassini Scientist for a Day 2012 competition. Coordinated by ESA, national competitions were held in several European countries, including Poland, Spain and Greece, with more than 1000 entries. An equivalent competition was run by NASA for schools in the US.

The Cassini–Huygens mission is an international project between NASA, ESA and Italy’s ASI space agency to study the giant planet Saturn and its rings and moons. The Cassini spacecraft entered orbit around Saturn in 2004 after a journey of nearly seven years from Earth.  In January 2005, the Huygens probe landed on the surface of Titan, Saturn’s largest moon. Cassini continues to provide an abundance of data to scientists and a small amount of the spacecraft’s time has been set aside to help young people learn about this fascinating world.

Cassini–Huygens

Secondary school students were invited to study three possible targets for Cassini to take images of, and to decide which one they thought would yield the best science results. The three targets for students to choose from were:

  1. Pan, the shepherd moon
  2. The F ring
  3. Saturn

Students were then asked to write an essay justifying their choice in their native language to be judged by panels of national experts.

The winners will receive an ESA_Cassini goodie bag and all entrants will receive a certificate of participation. The winners are listed below by country and the winning entries can be seen by following the links on the right.

Greece

7–12 year–old category
Stelios Doulgeris
Maria-Lydia Gioti
Sotiris Demakakos

13–15 year–old category
Anna Zarotiadou
Eleftheria Anna Diamanti
Ioanna Aggeliki Petsi

16–18 year–old category
Aggelos Damos
Georgios Kamtziridis
Dimitra-Kalliopi Kapetanaki

Poland

13–15 year–old category
Katarzyna Tallat

16–18 year–old category
Zuzanna Maja Nowicka

Portugal

12–14 year–old category
Antonio Vitor Bengantou de Souza

15–18 year–old category
Rita Mendes Silva

Romania

9–11 year–old category
Vlad-Cristian Dragne
Stefan Scarlatescu, Vlad Francu
Dan Gabriel Chisca, Tudor Caldarescu (Tie)
Eduard Mironeanu (Tie)

12–13 year–old category
Ioana Ileana Ichim
Silvia Maria Niță, Ioana Ştefania Petre
Alexandru Pascadi, Dragos Martac, Andrei Draghici, Claudiu Dan

14–17 year–old category
Beatrice Gugu-Petrişor
Catalina Paraschiv, Adriana Mocanu
Catalin Adrian Parvu

Spain

10–13 year–old category
Lucila Marsala Centeno
Ricardo Porcel Huertas, Miguel Velasco Escudero, Abel Vera Garciá ,Alex Vera Garciá
Gonzalo Guitart Palonsky

14–15 year–old category
Álvaro Argüelles, Sandra Madrazo, Patricia Vicente
Olivia Ramos Garciá, María Rojas Pérez
Paula Romero Alonso, Claudia Ubreva Quirós

16–17 year–old category
Rosa Martínez Hernández, Ma Eugenia López Zarco
Julia Salinas Navas
Teresa Huertas Rodán, Sara López Adárvez

UK

12–14 year–old category
Cameron Millar

15–17 year–old category
Yevgeniya Morrice

If this article has inspired you or your school to participate in an ESA competition, please check the ESA webpages. We will be running the Cassini Scientist for a Day competition again in late 2013, so watch this space!

Contact us

If you have any questions about the competition, or want to know more about Science Education at ESA, contact Joanna Holt at SciEdu@esa.int

Pan, the shepherd moon

The F ring

Saturn

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