Happy National Space Day 2024! Here's how 8 lucky kids can win a trip to Florida's Space Coast

silhouettes of two children looking up at the night sky
An illustration of two children looking up at the night sky. (Image credit: iStock / Getty Images Plus)

It's National Space Day, and also the start of a nationwide competition to send lucky eight kids to Florida for the space adventure of a lifetime!

SpaceKids Global, which focuses on teaching students in elementary school and getting them excited about STEAM (science, technology, engineering, art, mathematics), created the National SpaceKids Press Squad Competition which will be quite an experience! 

Eight students who enter the competition will be selected to fly to Florida and make stops at Blue Origin's Rocket Park manufacturing facility and NASA's Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex and get training on how to be a reporter!

Related: How to become an astronaut

"Our mission at SpaceKids is to reach children at a young age and get them excited about all of the careers available in the space industry," Sharon Hagle, Founder of SpaceKids Global and a former private spaceflyer on a Blue Origin tourist flight, said in a release. "We are bringing the possibility of space to kids everywhere with opportunities like the SpaceKids Press Squad.

"My flight to space alongside my husband, Marc, was life-changing, and we can't wait for these eight lucky kids to experience an out-of-this-world adventure, too! We hope to inspire a new generation of space explorers and future leaders to pursue STEAM careers," Hagle continued.

Here's the details of what each winner will receive if selected:

  • A SpaceKids Press Squad course before the trip to learn interview skills by a professional reporter
  • Two round-trip coach airfare tickets for each child and their guardian to Orlando, Florida including two nights of hotel accommodations 
  • Round-trip ground transportation to and from Orlando International Airport and while on the Space Coast 
  • A tour of Blue Origin's Rocket Park including an opportunity to interview space professionals and, schedules permitting, watch a live webcast of a New Shepard rocket launch 
  • Visit to NASA's Kennedy Space Center Visitors Complex 

Between now and Friday, June 14 at 12:00 a.m. EST, parents and guardians can nominate a child here between the ages of eight and 12 attending public, private, parochial, or home schools. Semi-finalists will be announced on Friday, June 28, and will have to submit a 60-second video to head to the finals by Friday, July 12 at 5:00 p.m. EST. The eight winners will be revealed on Friday, August 2 and will include one from an active-duty military family, one from an active-duty first responder family, one member of a Boys & Girls Club, and five others across the United States. 

"We are excited to provide this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for a child from our first responder community," Jillian Crane, president and CEO of First Responders Children's Foundation, said in the release. "This experience would not be possible without the innovative work of Sharon Hagle and SpaceKids Global. We are thrilled to partner on this mission and are excited to commence the countdown to the opening of this application."

The SpaceKids Press Squad contest is a joint effort with Blue Origin's nonprofit, Club for the Future, whose mission is to inspire and engage future generations to pursue STEAM careers.

"At the core of our mission is removing obstacles that too often separate underserved children from formative STEM experiences," Jamie Merrill, president and CEO of Boys & Girls Clubs of Central Florida, also said in the release. "We're grateful to SpaceKids for providing this thrilling opportunity to one of our deserving Club members." 

More details on the contest rules and requirements to enter are available on the contest website.

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Meredith Garofalo
Contributing Writer

Meredith is a regional Murrow award-winning Certified Broadcast Meteorologist and science/space correspondent. She most recently was a Freelance Meteorologist for NY 1 in New York City & the 19 First Alert Weather Team in Cleveland. A self-described "Rocket Girl," Meredith's personal and professional work has drawn recognition over the last decade, including the inaugural Valparaiso University Alumni Association First Decade Achievement Award, two special reports in News 12's Climate Special "Saving Our Shores" that won a Regional Edward R. Murrow Award, multiple Fair Media Council Folio & Press Club of Long Island awards for meteorology & reporting, and a Long Island Business News & NYC TV Week "40 Under 40" Award.