Trip to Space Camp Up for Grabs for Winning Student, Teacher

ComEd and the Adler Planetarium today announced the Third Annual Shoot for the Moon essay contest. This year, high school students are asked to write an essay about a teacher who has inspired them to “shoot for the moon” and succeed in science. The student with the winning essay will receive an all-expenses-paid trip to Space Camp in Alabama, and – new this year – the winner’s inspirational teacher will also win their own weeklong trip to adult Space Camp.

ComEd is a sponsor of the Adler’s permanent exhibition, Shoot for the Moon, which features the Gemini 12 spacecraft and tells the thrilling stories of American space exploration. As an extension of the sponsorship, ComEd is encouraging high school students throughout its northern Illinois service territory to nominate a teacher who has inspired them to succeed in science in a 200-word essay.

“The Shoot for the Moon essay contest is a wonderful way to foster student interest in science while celebrating some of the area’s top educators,” said Frank M. Clark, Chairman and CEO, ComEd, and Adler Planetarium board member. “ComEd is committed to strengthening math and science education, and our partnership with the Adler Planetarium is one way we honor that commitment.”

The grand prize winner of the essay contest and his or her teacher will each receive a six-day trip to Space Camp in Huntsville, Ala., courtesy of ComEd, and a one-year family membership to the Adler Planetarium. The first and second runners-up also will receive one-year family memberships to the Adler.

Students can sign up for the contest by visiting Entries must be received by March 27, 2009.

“The Shoot for the Moon exhibition motivates young people to dream big and pursue careers in math or science,” said Paul H. Knappenberger Jr., PhD, president of the Adler Planetarium. “The Shoot for the Moon essay contest encourages students to think further about their own futures in space and about a person who has encouraged them to get there. We’re thrilled and grateful to continue our partnership with ComEd to inspire the next generation of space explorers.”

Clark, Knappenberger, and Apollo 13 mission commander and American hero Captain James A. Lovell Jr. will serve on the panel of essay judges along with: Lula Ford, commissioner of the Illinois Commerce Commission; Kimberly A. Lightford, Illinois State Senator, D-Chicago; Tamara L. O’Shaughnessy, editor of Chicago Parent; Phil Thompson, editor of The Mash; and LeeAnn Trotter, NBC 5 Chicago news reporter.

Employees, officers and directors, and their immediate family members and members of their households, whether related or not, of ComEd and its affiliates, subsidiaries, advertising and promotional agencies are not eligible to participate.

Commonwealth Edison Company (ComEd) is a unit of Chicago-based Exelon Corporation (NYSE: EXC), one of the nation’s largest electric utilities with approximately 5.4 million customers. ComEd provides service to approximately 3.8 million customers across northern Illinois, or 70 percent of the state’s population.

The Adler Planetarium – America’s First Planetarium – was founded in 1930 by Chicago business leader Max Adler. Following its 75th anniversary, the Adler began a transformation to become the world’s leading space science center and inspire the next generation of explorers by sharing the personal stories of human space exploration and America’s space heroes. The Adler is a recognized leader in science education, with a focus on inspiring young people to pursue careers in science. Learn more at