Cassini Scientist for a Day Essay Contest 2012

The Cassini Scientist for a Day Essay Contest is an annual scientific essay-writing contest for students from Primary 5 to Junior College and Polytechnic.  It is run by NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory in partnership with various local Astronomy organizations in participating countries. is proud to be a co-organizer for the inaugural Singapore Edition of the contest in 2012-13.

The contest for 2012-13 is now closed. Please check back soon for contest details for 2013-14.

Cassini Group Shot

Participants of the 2012-13 Cassini Scientist for a Day Essay Contest and Video Conference.


Celine Faye (Bukit Panjang Government High School)
Prinita Mukherjee (Bukit Panjang Government High School)

Video Conference Speakers:

Dr. Allan Y. Lee (Jet Propulsion Laboratory, NASA)
Dr. Santo Salinas (Centre for Remote Imaging, Sensing and Processing, NUS)
Mr. Noah Hammond (Department Planetary Geosciences, Brown University)


Cassini Scientist for a Day 2012-2013 details:

Ever wanted to work with a real, current NASA mission?  Here’s your chance today!


As part of World Space Week 2012, and the Woodlands CC Youth Club, in collaboration with the National Aeronautic and Space Administration (NASA) and the National University of Singapore (NUS), cordially invites YOUths to participate in the inaugural Cassini Scientist for a Day Essay Contest (Singapore Edition).

The Cassini Science Planning Team picked three targets to be imaged.  Pick your favourite target, and write a persuasive essay describing the scientific merits of your choice.  Your decision should be based on which image would yield the most scientific results.

Just like actual scientists do, you are to explain what you hope to learn from the image you have selected.  The artistic value of the image can be an added bonus to your decision.

What questions do you have about your target that you hope will be answered? Research scientists and educators will read all the entries we receive. Will yours rise to the top? Good luck!

The deadline for the Singapore contest is 11:59pm on 23rd December, 2012. For regular updates and reminders on this contest, send us a blank email with the title ‘Mailing List’ to

*Please note that the deadline, rules and prizes of the Singapore contest differ from the American edition.


Target 1, Pan
Target 2, F Ring
Target 3, Saturn


  • There will be TWO categories for this contest:Junior Category – Includes students from Primary 5 to Secondary 2
    Senior Category – Includes students from Secondary 3 to Junior College and Polytechnic
  • All students attending a school in Singapore, regardless of nationality, are welcome to participate.
  • International school students should follow the equivalent grade categories, i.e. 5th – 8th grades for the junior category and 9th-12th grades for the senior category.

To Enter the Contest


  • Students are to work individually.
  • All submissions must be students’ original work.  Entries containing plagiarized material will be disqualified.
  • Each student may submit only one entry.
  • Essays that are longer than 500 words will be disqualified.
  • Use only plain text (no images).  Images and attachments in addition to the basic template will be disregarded.
  • 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.
  • The decision of the judges is final.
  • By participating, students agree to assign copyright to JPL so that JPL and NASA can post the essays, as excerpts or in their entirety, on NASA websites, along with the authors’ name, grade, school and country.  The organisers also reserve the right to publish the winning essays on their website.


  • ONE winner will be selected per target per age category, for a total of SIX winners.  If, for a particular target, the judges deem submitted essays to be of insufficient quality, then no winner will be awarded for that target.
  • Once winners are selected, winners will be contacted and asked to provide a photograph to post on the NASA website along with the winning essays.  Parents/guardians must submit written authorization to let us post the photos online.
  • Winners will be given the opportunity to engage in a video chat with scientists and engineers who are involved in the Cassini mission, or doing research on Saturn and its moons.
  • Each winner will also be given a goodie-bag consisting of NASA and Astronomy memorabilia.
  • The school with the largest number of entries will be awarded the “Cassini Explorer” award.

For any further inquiries, do not hesitate to contact us at

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