In 1977, The Aerospace Corporation established the Robert H. Herndon Memorial Science Competition. This event provides middle and high school students in Los Angeles County an opportunity to participate annually in the El Segundo portion of the essay and/or science experiment competition. In 2000, a Washington-area Herndon Memorial Science Competition was established and is also held annually.
The award is named for the late Robert H. Herndon, an Aerospace engineer and manager who served as a mentor for many at the corporation. The competition events are designed to stimulate interest among minority students in science, engineering, and technology, and increase diversity across the aerospace industry.
The 44th annual Robert H. Herndon Memorial Science Competition will be held on May 27, 2021 1-3pm Eastern.
Advances in space flight has continued to expand from reusable rockets, to the NASA rover Perseverance landing successfully on Mars, to planning future missions to the Moon.
The 2021 Herndon Science Competition invites you to submit a science essay that captures the theme Re-Imagining the Future of Space.
Tips on how to write a winning entry can be found in the competition instructions.
To Enter the Contest
You should submit a science essay that draws on an engineering or science discipline to describe a technological advancement to Re-Image the Future of Space. Your submission must also follow the specific guidelines and limits for your competition category – based on your grade level.
Middle School (grades 6-8)
Write an essay that recognizes the important role that space plays in shaping the way we experience the world, and how engineering and science can shape space exploration in a new way. You must include at least 3, but no more than 10 references in an annotated bibliography to support your essay. Limit: 1500 words or 3 pages single spaced.
High School (grades 9-12)
Write an essay that recognizes the important role that space plays in shaping the way we experience the world, and how engineering and science can shape space exploration in a new way. You must include at least 3, but no more than 10 references in an annotated bibliography to support your essay. Limit: 2000 words or 4 pages single spaced.
Entries can be submitted via the
Online Registration Form by April 16, 2021 at 11:59pm PST.
Regional Science Fair Invitees Deadline: April 23, 2021
Final Essay Submission Deadline: April 30, 2021
Other Important information:
Submissions will be judged by a slate of technical professionals from various engineering fields. In addition to checking that submissions meet all the basic rules, they will be looking for:
1. Initial Planning (15 points)
2. Level of Effort/Organization (5 points)
3. Quality of work (20 points)
4. Presentation (20 points)
When will the winners be announced?
Winners will be announced during the virtual event on May 27, 2021. Access links to the program will be provided once your registration form has been accepted.