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Contest Overview

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Cassini Scientist for a Day is a national essay contest for U.S. students in grades 5-12. Students choose one of three images the Cassini spacecraft can take on a given date and time set aside for education, and write a 500-word essay as to why they think it will yield the best science results. Winners and their classes participate in teleconferences with Cassini scientists.

Have you ever wondered what it is like to be part of a large science team with a spacecraft as your remote laboratory?

Now is your chance to join the team. You have an opportunity to be a scientist for a day by telling us which target you think is likely to yield the most science data.

Your science team has the opportunity to compete for the privilege of deciding where to point the cameras onboard the Cassini spacecraft on May 25, 2009.

Images taken by the cameras on Cassini aid scientists with their understanding of Saturn and its moons.

Scientist for a Day 7th Edition
Scientists use the images to help identify prominent features, examine surfaces and observe interactions.

Choose one of three available targets and tell us why it is important. Your detective work can generate more questions and offer more clues to help unlock mysteries about the Saturnian system.

The Science Planning Team studied all possible targets and cut the list to three images -- making your choice more manageable.

You are to weigh all the factors, and after choosing one of the three targets, explain the reasons for your choice in a 500-word essay. 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.

The contest is open to all students in the U.S. between grades 5 and 12, working alone or in groups of up to four students. The essay contest deadline is April 30, 2009.