This July 20th will mark the 50thanniversary of Neil Armstrong’s historic moon walk and his now famous declaration: “one small step for man, one giant leap for mankind.”Whether we teach science, reading, math, or art- this is a moment that changed education forever. While it may seem that moon landings are a thing of the past, NASA is planning to land on the moon again, and to push beyond that to other destinations!


Inspiring the next generation

NASA is working on inspiring the next generation of astronauts and space explorers in many ways, but I want to recommend one distinct opportunity to get your students involved in 2019. As we close out the school year, let’s take time to inspire dreamers with some “moonshot” thinking. NASA is running an “Apollo’s 50th Anniversary” inspired 2019 Youth Art Contest open to students in pre-K through 12th grades. Teachers are encouraged to link science, art, and history lessons to motivate students to engage with the imagery and events of the Apollo missions.


Contest details

All the kids have to do is draw an original artwork representing what the Apollo missions inspire in them (no digital or computer made images allowed). All artwork must be  themed  “Apollo’s 50th Anniversary” and inspired by actual NASA images that  must be identified- which means that we teachers need to really get students  into researching these pivotal moments in science, history, and civic life. Students’ drawings must be on 8.5 x 11 or smaller paper using crayon, ink, acrylic, water color, colored pencils, pastels, oil paint or plain black pencil. Register by June 1, and submit entries by June 15, 2019.

Drawings will be judged with like age groups, and a panel will select a 1st, 2nd, and 3rd place winner in each age group. There will also be one Grand Prize winner, one People’s Choice winner, and one NASA’s choice winner. Judging will occur the week of the Opening Reception of the “Apollo 50th Anniversary Youth Art Exhibit,” which will be open to the public on Thursday, July 18, from 5 – 7 p.m. Winners will be announced at 6:30 p.m. in the Visitor Center. Students will be informed via email if not in attendance.

Entries will be on display at the Visitor Center from Thursday, July 18, 2019 through Saturday, September 7, 2019. The winners of each grade category, People’s Choice, NASA’s Choice and Grand Prize will receive prizes that NASA is yet to reveal. All contest participants will receive an official NASA Certificate of Participation. This looks to be a great way to fill out some of our June lesson plans! But hurry up- registration is due by June 1, with 2 weeks beyond that to complete the artwork.


Registration by June 1, 2019  2019 Apollo Youth Art Contest Registration Form

Entries due by June 15, 2019 to

See contest rules at: NASA Apollo Youth Art Contest

Helpful sites:


Jessica Cicalese Kurtz is a veteran middle school engineering and science teacher at Toms River Schools. She has experience as a curriculum developer, teacher trainer, and is a regular contributing writer for the Teachers’ Lounge.'

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