Royal Astronomical Society - Newspaper Competition 2010

Image of the VLA
Image of the Very Large Array (VLA)
Credit: Andy Cook - Rocky Mountain Reflections

Imagine ...... if this year, after thousands of years of wondering and fifty years of searching, the first message from intelligent life outside our Solar System was received. Could you create the words and pictures on that first message from an extraterrestrial civilization, showing what their world is like ?

The Royal Astronomical Society Newspaper Competition

Our highly successful interdisciplinary competition has been running for over ten years. It is an excellent opportunity to forge cross-curricular links and to use the internet or your library to search for material.

The Newspaper Competition is open to groups of students in two age ranges 7-11 and 11-14 years.

Entrants in this section should publish a small newspaper, which describes the contents of the first message from an extraterrestrial civilisation. The message may be form a civilisation similar to our own or perhaps much more advanced. The message may describe the beings who sent it and their world. The message may be friendly, hostile or asking for help ..... it is up to you!

The Feature Article Competition is open to individual students in two age ranges 14-16 and 16-19 years.

Entrants in this section are asked to produce an article suitable for a scientific magazine, which reviews the content of the first message received from an extraterrestrial civilisation. It should explain to its readers what we can learn about the beings that sent it, their world and their technology.

WIN a prize for your school !


All prospective entrants must register by e-mailing: as soon as possible for an electronic entry form.

Competition Rules:

When sending in your entry, please enclose an SAE if you require acknowledgement that we have received your entry.

On the front page of you entry you must include:

  • Name, address and postcode of your School.
  • E-mail address and telephone number of your School.
  • Name of your class or group, if appropriate.
  • Age range of your entry (Newspaper : 7-11 or 11-14, Feature Article : 14-16 or 16-19 yrs).
  • Full name of your teacher.
  • A signed declaration by your teacher that the selection of existing material was done by the group or individual; and all original material, design and layout was the work of the group or individual.

The decision of the judges is final and the results will be announced on the RAS website ( in September 2010. Winners will be informed directly. Work cannot be returned. The competition is organised by the Education Committee of the Royal Astronomical Society.

Please send your entry to:

... message received.... Newspaper Competition, Royal Astronomical Society, Burlington House, Piccadilly, LONDON, W1J 0BQ

Entries to arrive by Monday 26th July 2010

You can download a flyer for the competition HERE.