Student reporters can win a free trip to Florida with SpaceKids Press Squad Competition

FILE - American astronaut Joseph Tanner waves to the camera during a space walk as part of the STS-115 mission to the International Space Station, September 2006.

Calling all space enthusiasts and aspiring reporters! 

In honor of National Space Day (May 3), SpaceKids Global has officially launched its SpaceKids Press Squad national competition which will send eight kids (plus their guardians) to Florida for free. 

SpaceKids Global is a nonprofit organization with a mission to educate and engage elementary students in STEAM+ (science, technology, engineering, arts and mathematics) environmental activities and inspire them to "pursue careers in space exploration and technology." 

The trip includes a visit to Blue Origin’s Rocket Park manufacturing facility, a visit to NASA’s Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex, and press training from a real reporter. 

"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," stated Sharon Hagle, founder of SpaceKids Global. "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." 

Who can apply? 

The competition is open to all students in the United States who are ages 8-12. 

They must be enrolled in public, private, or home schools. 

3 categories of winners

Eight winners will be chosen to visit Florida and there are three special categories of winners. 

One of the eight winners must be a child of an active-duty military member. This can include a parent or guardian who is in the U.S. Army, Navy, Air Force, Marines and Coast Guard. 

Another of the eight winners must be a child of a first responder and this can include an active firefighter, police officer, paramedic, EMT, corrections officer or a 911 dispatcher. 

The third special category winner must be a member of any Boys & Girls Club. 

What will winners get? 

Winners will receive two round-trip tickets to Orlando, Florida and two nights of hotel accommodations. 

Ground transportation to and from the Orlando International Airport will also be provided. 

Winners and their guardians will be treated to a tour of Blue Origin’s Rocket Park and will get a chance to interview space experts. 

There may also be a live webcast of one of Blue Origin's New Shepard rocket launches, schedule and weather permitting. 

The live webcast will also be hosted by Hagle. 

The trip will also include a visit to NASA’s Kennedy Space Center Visitors Complex and a SpaceKids Press Squad training course to learn interviewing skills. 

When is the deadline to apply?

All entrants must submit their applications by June 14, 2024, at 12 a.m. ET. 

Once the initial entries are submitted, 24 finalists will be randomly selected. These finalists must then turn in a one-minute-long video about why they want to watch the Blue Origin rocket launch. This must be submitted by July 12, 2024, at 12 a.m. ET. 

When will winners be announced? 

The eight winners will be officially announced on August 2, 2024, on the SpaceKids Global website. Winner will also be personally notified. 

This story was reported from Los Angeles.