|Image above: In addition to the NASA flight jacket she is wearing, NASA Dryden 60th anniversary essay contest winner Isabella Millman (left) was awarded a collage of famous NASA research aircraft by Miriam Rodon-Naviera, Dryden's education director. The collage was autographed by many of Dryden's research pilots. NASA Dryden photo by Tom Tschida|
Would you like to win a NASA flight jacket?
That was the question posed to students across the United States by the education office at NASA's Dryden Flight Research Center, located on California's Edwards Air Force Base. The flight jacket was the top prize in a student historical essay contest relating to the center's 60th anniversary as NASA's lead center for atmospheric flight research.
Among the students who said "yes" was 11-year old Isabella Millman of Edwards, who recently received a pilot's flight jacket for her entry. Millman's project, "Dryden Flight Research Center – The Quest for Speed – or How I Stopped Worrying and Learned to Love Hypersonic Flight," earned a second place in the contest designed to help young people become aware of the 60-year flight research legacy of NASA Dryden.
Millman is a sixth grade student at Branch Elementary School on the air base. Her interest in aeronautics can be attributed to more than the location of her school. Her father, Lt. Col. Daniel Millman, is the base's hypersonics flight team director.
In addition to Millman, the national competition had winners in Louisiana and Idaho. Brooke Lawrence, a sophomore at C. E. Byrd High School in Shreveport, La., submitted an investigative composition that dealt with aircraft turbulence. Lawrence also sports a new flight jacket and took home a mahogany space shuttle model.
Sixth-graders Quentin Stepon and Seth Curtiss from Carberry Middle School in Emmett, Idaho, were also winners. Stepon's essay about NASA's historic B-52B No. 008 earned the first place awards of a shuttle model and flight jacket with personal nametag. Curtiss received a shuttle model for a paper on the XB-70 Valkyrie.
The essay competition was part of the NASA center's 60th anniversary observance. Participants selected a research project, a person who made a significant contribution, or a technical advancement in Dryden's history, then wrote an essay and designed a poster.
Students in grade five through eight submitted a typed essay of between 1,000 and 1,200 words, while submissions from grades nine through 12 were from 1,500 to 1,750 words. The essays were judged on creativity, focus and grammar.