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Sonja Alexander
Headquarters, Washington

June 6, 2008
RELEASE : 08-139
NASA 50th Anniversary Essay Competition Winners Announced
WASHINGTON -- The winners of NASA's 50th Anniversary Essay Competition have been selected.

The international competition challenged middle school and junior high students to discuss, in an essay of 500 words or less, one of two topics: how they have benefitted in their everyday lives from aerospace technologies built by NASA during the past 50 years, or, how their lives may be different 50 years in the future because of NASA technology.

Jackson Warley of the Renaissance Academy in Colorado Springs, Colo., took first prize. The seventh grader will receive a $5,000 college scholarship and a trip to view a space shuttle launch at NASA's Kennedy Space Center in Florida. In his essay, Jackson wrote “the underlying spirit and principles of NASA . . . heeds the basic human calling to explore the unknown and in doing so, gives people motivation."

Second prize and a $2,500 college scholarship went to Grace Nowadly, a student at Berkeley Middle School in Williamsburg, Va. Megha Subramanian of Hershey Middle School in Hershey, Pa., won third prize and a $1,000 college scholarship.

"NASA is proud to recognize the winners of the 50th anniversary essay competition. This competition has generated excitement among the participating students as they learned about how America's space program impacts their lives in very powerful ways," NASA Deputy Administrator Shana Dale said. "The goal is to spark students' imagination in science, math, and engineering and I think we've achieved that goal with these exceptional students."

To read the winning essays, and see a list of regional winners, visit:

More than 1,000 submissions from 37 states and 15 countries were entered into the competition. NASA's Innovative Partnerships Program and NASA's Office of Education conducted the competition. To learn more about NASA's Innovative Partnerships Program and the benefits of NASA-derived technology, visit:

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