HARRISBURG, Pa. (WHTM) — The Pennsylvania Department of Education (PDE) is working with Moonshot Museum, Astrobotic, and the Readiness Institute at Penn State to invite Pennsylvania students (grades three through 12) to participate in a statewide poster contest. The contest’s theme, “Reach for the Moon,” is celebrating the United States’ return to the moon this year with the Astrobotic Peregrine Lunar Lander missions.

“It’s only fitting that we announce this new partnership to support and highlight STEAM education on the 53rd anniversary of the first moon landing,” said Acting Secretary of Education Eric Hagarty. “This poster contest encourages Pennsylvania students to ‘reach for the moon’ in their educational and career endeavors, from science to the arts and anything in between.”

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The Moonshot Poster Contest is a combination between STEM education and the arts. In late 2022, Peregrine will deliver more than 24 payloads to the moon’s surface via their Lunar Landers, including scientific instruments from three national space agencies (11 from NASA), a rover from Carnegie Mellon University, Hope Moonshot project from Penn State Outreach, several payloads from commercial companies, and cultural messages from people all around the world.

Students are encouraged to make a poster that reflects one or more of the aspects from the Peregrine mission:

  • History in the Making: Astrobotic’s Peregrine lander will be the first private commercial spacecraft to land on the lunar surface and the first American spacecraft to land on the Moon since the Apollo era.
  • Commercial Space Industry: Peregrine will carry payloads from companies and countries around the world and deploy a small rover to search for underground tunnels or “lava tubes,” potential sites for future lunar settlers. 
  • Flight of the Falcon: The lunar lander is named for the peregrine falcon, the fastest animal on Earth.
  • Powered by Pennsylvania: Peregrine is being constructed at Astrobotic Headquarters on Pittsburgh’s Northside, with metals and electronics built by Pennsylvanians. The spacecraft will launch aboard a rocket from Florida, but once it has left Earth’s atmosphere, Astrobotic Mission Control will coordinate the lander’s journey to the Moon.

“Space is no longer the ‘next frontier’; it is the ‘now frontier’ for our students in Pennsylvania,” said Dr. Justin Aglio, interim vice president for Outreach and executive director of the Readiness Institute at Penn State. “We are excited to see the contest submissions and hope they will launch many space and STEAM careers for students in our communities.”

Students can make their poster submissions at home, at school, or at out of school learning programs. Submissions can be created with computer programs or with traditional art supplies.

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To submit your poster design, parents, teachers, and guardians can email the submission and a completed terms form to postercontest@moonshotmuseum.org.

A panel of judges, from STEAM disciplines across the Commonwealth, will judge the submissions before Astrobotic’s launch in late 2022. Wining entries will be chosen in three grade ranges: elementary (grades three through four), middle school (grades five through eight), and high school (grades nine through 12).

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