Here’s a message from the  Titan and Icy Worlds  Education and Public Outreach Teams at NASA JPL:

Dear Teachers and Students,

NASA is holding an essay contest about Saturn’s moon Titan & Jupiter’s moon Europa for students in the United States in grades 5-12.

.The contest deadline is February 28, 2013.  The contest website is here:  http://icyworlds.jpl.nasa.gov/contest/.

Questions about the Titan & Europa essay contest can be sent to: titaneuropa@jpl.nasa.gov.

The topic of the Titan & Europa essay is either a mission to Saturn’s moon Titan or to Jupiter’s moon Europa. Both of these missions would study a world that is exciting for astrobiologists(*).Your assignment is to decide which of the proposed missions would be more interesting to you, and why. Be creative, be original, and ask good questions that you hope the mission would answer.

The Titan mission would include a Titan orbiter and a Titan balloon. The Europa mission would include a Europa orbiter and a Europa lander. The orbiters, balloon, and lander would each have science instruments to study either Titan or Europa.

In your essay, you can include information about what science instruments you would put on the orbiter and balloon or lander, if you wish, based on what you hope to find on Titan or Europa.

Winning essays will be posted on a NASA website, and winners and their classes will be invited to participate in a videoconference or teleconference with NASA scientists.

Contest videos about Astrobiology, Titan, and Europa can be found here:
http://icyworlds.jpl.nasa.gov/contest/videos/

(*) Astrobiologists are scientists who study the origins, evolution, future and distribution of life in the universe. The main question astrobiologists are trying to answer is: “Is there life beyond Earth?”

Good luck!

Best wishes,
The Titan and Icy Worlds NASA Astrobiology Institute Education and Public Outreach Teams
titaneuropa@jpl.nasa.gov