9th Annual Writing Competition

Mask Policy:
In accordance with the updated guidance released by the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the Department of Defense (DoD) and Wright-Patterson Air Force Base, the National Museum of the U.S. Air Force will require all visitors to wear face masks indoors effective July 30, 2021 until further notice.

Visitors ages three and up will be required to wear masks while indoors at the museum. This policy applies to all visitors, staff and volunteers regardless of vaccination status. Visitors may wear their own masks or a free paper mask will be provided. Cloth masks will also be available for purchase in the Museum Store.
Additional information available here.

Competition Theme

This year's theme focuses on the fact that July 2019 marks 50 years since humans first walked upon any surface other than our planet Earth!  On July 20, 1969, as part of the Apollo 11 mission, Neil Armstrong took that “giant leap” onto the surface of the moon. 

The research questions for the competition are as follows: Please provide a brief history of this monumental achievement. Then, discuss whether you believe the United States should return to supporting human spaceflight beyond Earth orbit or concentrate solely on robotic explorations.  Use scholarly research to provide the rationale for your decision, including the opinions (both for and against) of noted scientists, engineers, government officials and other stakeholders in the field of space exploration.

Submission Rules and Requirements

Eligibility This competition is open to public, private school or homeschooled students between the ages of 13‐18. There will be no exceptions made to the age requirements. Only one entry per student will be accepted.

Deadline All papers must be submitted in PDF format by 1 March 2019 12:00 a.m. (EST). The competition will accept only the first 250 entrants.

Notification of maximum entries will be made on the Museum’s website. All submissions become the property of the National Museum of the U.S. Air Force.

Content Papers will be judged as historic research papers. All content must be supported by evidence and it must be sited in endnotes. All papers will be required to have a cover page with the following information: name, address, age, and email address or phone number of the author, as well as the school attended, if relevant. The content of the paper is limited to five pages, for a total of seven pages including the cover page and the bibliography as the last page. Papers that are longer or shorter then this requirement will not be judged. Additionally, grammar, spelling and structure of the document will be considered in judging.

Integrity Be honest when writing your papers. Give credit where credit is due. Academic dishonesty of any sort will result in disqualification.


*Award money will be distributed with $2,500.00 going to the first place winner, $1,500 going to second place and

$1,000 to the third place winner. Scholarship award money is provided through the generosity of the Air Force Museum Foundation, Inc.(Federal endorsement is not implied).


Letters of thanks to the sponsoring partnership are a pre-requisite to receipt of funds. The winning paper will also be published the Museum’s Friend’s Journal.

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