Gabriel Mathew, fourth grader at Broken Arrow Elementary School, has been selected as a semifinalist for the Mars 2020 “Name the Rover” contest. His entry was selected as the Kansas’s winner in the elementary school category. Gabriel’s name will enter the next round to become the official name of the Mars 2020 rover.
Gabriel wrote the following essay to submit his name, “Jeevan”:
Life is an adventure. Life is the air we breathe. We have learned that life is more valuable than diamonds. As humans we look for others like us. Mars 2020 is searching for evidence of life. The name I chose is Jeevan. In my native tongue Malayalam, Jeevan means life. I chose this Indian language because of its ancient Dravidian roots, suggested to be spoken in the 4th millennium. Just like its ancient roots, Mars 2020 is searching for its ancient past. Going to Mars is a risk, a risk we are willing to take. Every masterpiece has a creator. We will be rewarded!
Gabriel loves all subject areas, but especially science, his teacher Taylor Karrick shared. According to Gabriel, his mother found out about the Rover contest and encouraged him to write the essay because of his interest in outer space.
More than 28,000 essays were submitted from K-12 students. The spacecraft is targeted for a July 2020 launch and is expected to touch down on Mars in February 2021.