Students write poetry and stories to celebrate moon landing and “The Next Giant Leap”


The Montgomery County Educational Foundation conducted a poetry and creative writing contest among Montgomery County school students to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the moon landing. Sponsorship was provided by the 100+ Women Who Care of New River Valley.

In the summer of 1969, Neal Armstrong took “one giant leap” when he became the first human to set foot on the moon, thus ushering in a new era of technology and possibility.

To explore and commemorate the event, the theme of the MCEF writing contest was “Next Giant Leap” to prompt MCPS students from second to twelfth grades to artistically write a story or poem about what could happen next in space.

First place winners received an Apple iPad Mini and a signed copy of the book, “Chasing Space” by astronaut Leland Melvin. These winners were recognized at the April 2 school board meeting.

Second place winners earned a $50 gift card and third place winners won $25 gift cards. These and other honorable mention entries were celebrated at their schools.

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High School Category (Grades 9-12)

1st Place – Karah McClafferty, BHS 9th Grade, “The Life of Time”
2nd Place – Crista Ramsey, BHS 12th Grade, “A Little Dash of This”
3rd Place – Skyler Mawby, BHS 9th Grade, “Our Next Giant Leap”

Middle School Category (Grades 6-8)

1st Place – Kailin Phillips, AMS 7th Grade, “The Journey”
2nd Place – Kaleigh Brein, SMS 7th Grade, “New Space”
3rd Place – McKinley Owczarski, BMS 6th Grade, “Giant Leap in Space”
Honorable Mention – Emma Harvey, BMS 6th Grade, “Destination”, & Edric Zhang, BMS 8th Grade, “A Giant Leap”

Elementary Category (Grades 4-5)

1st Place – Jennifer Pertchik, HAES 5th Grade, “The Raging Planet”
2nd Place – Miles Johnson, PFES 5th Grade, “Excerpt from Summoner’s Bane”
3rd Place – Ione Donoso, PFES 5th Grade, “One Small Step”

Primary Category (Grades 2-3)

1st Place – Aron Wang, KES 3rd Grade, “Our Next Giant Leap”
2nd Place – Malia Buckwalter, AES 3rd Grade, “Apollo 50”
3rd Place – Emily Katz, KES 2nd Grade, “The Ocean Explorers”
Honorable Mention – Sadie Zhang, KES 3rd Grade, “A Perfect World”