Winners of Power to Explore Challenge Revealed

NASA recently revealed the winners of the third annual Power to Explore Challenge, a national writing competition focused on educating K-12 students about the significance of radioisotopes for space exploration.

Students were tasked with learning about NASA’s Radioisotope Power Systems (RPS), which are crucial for powering missions to extreme locations in the solar system and beyond. Participants had to describe a mission enabled by these systems in 250 words or less while sharing how they would achieve their mission goals.

“The Power to Explore Challenge is a fantastic opportunity to inspire students, especially our Artemis Generation, to aim for the stars and beyond. It helps NASA find new ways to utilize radioisotopes for exploring the cosmos,” stated Nicola Fox, associate administrator of the Science Mission Directorate at NASA Headquarters in Washington.

This year’s competition saw entries divided into three groups based on grade level, with a winner chosen from each group. The three winners, along with a guardian, will receive a VIP tour of NASA’s Glenn Research Center in Cleveland, which houses top-tier research facilities.

The victorious students are Rainie Lin from Lexington, Kentucky, in kindergarten through fourth grade, Aadya Karthik from Redmond, Washington, in fifth through eighth grade, and Thoma Liu from Ridgewood, New Jersey, in ninth through 12th grade. All participants will gain knowledge about space power, appreciate their strengths, and interact with NASA’s diverse workforce.

The Power to Explore Challenge received an impressive 1,787 entries from 48 states and Puerto Rico, showcasing the enthusiasm and interest of students in space exploration. The endeavor was supported by the NASA Science Mission Directorate’s RPS Program Office and administered by Future Engineers. Those seeking more information on radioisotope power systems can visit