Shorecrest student selected to represent Washington state in NASA's Artemis Moon Pod essay contest

Sunday, May 16, 2021

Brianna Blanchard
Shorecrest student Brianna Blanchard has been announced by NASA and Future Engineers as one of 155 semifinalists in the Artemis Moon Pod Essay Contest, a national competition that asked K-12 students to imagine leading a one-week expedition at the Moon’s South Pole.

Brianna will represent the state of Washington, Grades 9-12, in the next round of the competition.

The essay contest was issued in collaboration with NASA’s Artemis Program, which will land the first woman and the next man on the Moon. 

Using innovative technologies to explore more of the lunar surface than ever before, the Artemis Program will use what is learned on and around the Moon to take the next giant leap: sending astronauts to Mars.

As NASA sets out to inspire a whole new generation, the Artemis Generation, the essay contest invited students to imagine leading a one-week expedition at the Moon’s South Pole and to tell NASA all about it.

This included writing about their expedition’s crew and technology, with an expectation of leaving their technology behind to help future astronauts explore the Moon.

Approximately 14,000 essay submissions were received from K-12 students across the country and over 1,000 eligible judge volunteers comprised of educators, professionals, and space enthusiasts helped review essays. 155 in three divisions were selected as semi-finalists.

Brianna is a junior at Shorecrest, daughter of Joe and Fion Blanchard of Shoreline. Her essay can be viewed at

As a semifinalist, Brianna received an Artemis Prize Pack filled with space-themed prizes plus the opportunity to attend a series of virtual Artemis Explorer Sessions with NASA experts.

On March 23rd, NASA held a virtual event, where contest participants had the opportunity to learn about space exploration from speakers including: NASA Astronaut, Ricky Arnold, Associate Administrator of NASA’s Human Exploration and Operations Mission Directorate, Kathy Lueders, and Associate Administrator of NASA’s Office of STEM Engagement, Mike Kincaid. 

At the conclusion of the event, the semifinalists were unveiled. But there was one more surprise in store for all the students who submitted an entry: NASA will fly a digital copy of all 14,000 essays around the Moon aboard Artemis I.


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