There were a lot of entries. I got through about half of the ones from the grade 5-8 section. Most of those were from grade 5.
I was very impressed. Almost all of the entries identified the most pressing issues for human survival on Mars and provided plausible solutions to those issues. Many of the essays were very well written and most were accompanied by a vivid and enthusiastic illustration of the habitat design. My hat's off to these kids.
Even the best essays, however, contained occasional phrases that, for all their sincerity, made me laugh out loud. (And I must emphasize that some of these came from essays I graded highly.) So here's a "greatest hits" composite essay with all the bits that were just too much fun not to share. Every sentence below came from an actual entry, with spelling, capitalization, and punctuation exactly as shown...
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