News Archive

Local Students Mars Essay Wins Special Mission to CLC

Lone Oak Middle School seventh grader, Katie Caruthers, recently entered a Challenger Learning Center at Paducah (CLC) essay contest for an extra credit science project. But as the winner of the contest, Caruthers received another bonus December 4.

Caruthers winning essay Every Girls Dream: The First Astronaut to Explore Mars, won a special visit to the CLC for her and 25 of her fellow classmates. The day included various Orion activities and a simulated Voyage to Mars.

My teacher gave us extra credit to enter the contest, and I always do my extra credit assignments, said Caruthers. This is the first essay contest Ive won...I am proud of myself, said Caruthers. I am happy my class got to come for the mission.

Caruthers said the class participation in the essay contest was also special to her teacher, Susan Midkiff. Before teaching seventh grade science at Lone Oak Middle School, Midkiff worked at the CLC for three years and said she knows first-hand how the center can help students learn about science and math.

This essay contest was an educational way for students to incorporate their love of writing into one culminating activity. They did research when writing the essays and learned about science and math at the same time.

Midkiff said Caruthers and her classmates also learned another valuable lesson by participating in the contest. They learned that hard work pays off and has benefits. Thats something they can take with them throughout their lives.

In the future, the Orion spacecraft will launch on NASAs new heavy-lift rocket, the Space Launch System (SLS). More powerful than any rocket ever built, SLS will be capable of sending humans to deep space destinations such as an asteroid and eventually Mars.


For more information about CLC offerings and missions, contact Mellisa Duncan, CLC director, at (270) 534-3097, mellisa.duncan@kctcs.edu. The CLC is located on the campus of West Kentucky Community and Technical College.