Adler, ComEd challenge students, teachers to ‘Shoot for the Moon’ with essay contest
From press release
CHICAGO—ComEd and the Adler Planetarium have announced the fourth annual Shoot for the Moon contest, awarding a grand-prize trip to Space Camp in Alabama for one high school student and one teacher who provide the most compelling essays about overcoming an obstacle in their lives.
This year’s topic was chosen to honor retired astronaut Captain James A. Lovell Jr., commander of the Apollo 13 mission and the first person to journey twice to the moon, who overcame seemingly insurmountable obstacles on board Apollo 13 to return the spacecraft and its crew safely home.
ComEd is a sponsor of the Adler’s permanent exhibition, Shoot for the Moon, which highlights the exciting stories of space exploration and American’s bold plans to return to the moon. The exhibition features the Gemini 12 spacecraft and Lovell Collection of personal space artifacts. As an extension of the sponsorship, ComEd is encouraging high school students and teachers throughout its service territory to draft a 200-word essay about overcoming an obstacle in their lives.
“In line with our support of education—science education in particular—ComEd is a proud, long-time sponsor of the Adler Planetarium,” said Frank M. Clark, ComEd chairman and CEO and member of the board of trustees for the Adler Planetarium. “Space exploration is embedded in the fabric of American history, and the Shoot for the Moon essay contest is an optimal way for us to celebrate tomorrow’s space commanders and the teachers who today are sparking their interest in science.”
Participating students and teachers will have the opportunity to win one of three prizes, including:
• Grand Prize: Separate, all-expenses paid trip to Space Camp at the U.S. Rock and Space Center in Alabama will be awarded to one student and one teacher.
• Runner-Up Prizes: One-year family membership to the Adler Planetarium will be awarded to two students and two teachers.
Teacher and student entries are separate; winning teacher and student do not have to come from the same school. The winning teacher does not have to be the teacher of the winning student.
Students and teachers can sign up for the contest by visiting www.ComEd.com/moon. Entries must be submitted by Jan. 31, 2010. The winners will be announced April 1, 2010.
Last year’s student winner, Azza Cohen, a junior at Highland Park High School, gives five tips for students on creating a successful essay:
1. Don’t worry about the word limit until you’ve finished writing. That way you can get all your ideas out and cut the words, but not the ideas.
2. Plan ahead: Write a focused outline with the key points of how you have been able to “shoot for the moon” in your own life.
3. Write honestly. Dig deep and think about the challenges that you have been able to overcome.
4. Relax and enjoy! I love writing, especially about people who have inspired me. If you’re reading this, I’m guessing you do, too. Breathe deeply and try your best. This is an incredible opportunity.
5. Visit the Adler Planetarium…it’s a space-tastic place!
“Forty years ago, Jim Lovell inspired the world with his leadership and perseverance in returning the Apollo 13 spacecraft and its crew safely home,” said Adler President Paul H. Knappenberger Jr., Ph.D. “We honor this American hero and share his life story in Shoot for the Moon, a permanent museum exhibition.
Inspired as a child to pursue a dream, Lovell overcame many obstacles in becoming a pilot and, ultimately, one of the first astronauts. This year, we honor his spirit and ask students and teachers to share their inspirational stories. We are grateful to ComEd for their sponsorship of this exciting contest and its continued support of the Adler’s mission to inspire the next generation of explorers.”
Captain Lovell will serve on the panel of essay judges, along with Frank Clark, chairman and CEO of ComEd; Rep. Fred Crespo, vice chairman of the Illinois House Elementary and Secondary Education Committee; Lula Ford, commissioner with the Illinois Commerce Commission; Paul Knappenberger, president of the Adler Planetarium; Tamara O’Shaughnessy, editor of Chicago Parent magazine; Phil Thompson, editor of The Mash; and LeAnn Trotter, reporter at NBC-5.
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