Cassini Scientist for a Day 2016-17

Nov 21st, 2016

Independent Enrichment Opportunity for students in grades 5-8

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. Participants examine three possible observations taken by Cassini and are tasked to choose the one they think will yield the best scientific results. This choice must then be supported in essay.

Learn about Saturn, its fascinating features and mysterious moons. Once your research is complete, choose one of the three targets and defend your choice in an essay of up to 500 words. Your decision should be based on which target you think would yield the best scientific results. Just like real scientists do, explain what you hope to learn from the image you have selected.

Deadline: Essay entries for the U.S. contest must be received by Friday, Feb. 24, 2017 at 11:59 p.m. Pacific Time.

  • This opportunity is open to all students in grades 5 to 8.
  • 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.
  • All communication will be conducted between JPL and the school coordinator (Anne Laux)
  • Essays that are longer than 500 words will be disqualified.
  • 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.
  • Essay writers will be divided into separate groups:
    • grades 5 to 6
    • grades 7 to 8

For more information, visit:

Questions or interested in participating?  Contact Anne LaLonde Laux