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NASA names York County student winner in its 'Power to Explore Contest'

Ari Luster of Indian Rock Elementary School in Spring Garden Township won the contest writing about his personal superpower, hearing loss.

YORK, Pa. — NASA named a York County student as a winner in its “Power to Explore Contest."

The contest, which received nearly 1,2000 entries, is an initiative to encourage STEM education and allow students to explore their own superpowers.

Ari Luster of Indian Rock Elementary School in Spring Garden Township, York County, entered the competition with his classmates.

“My teacher told us that we were starting a project about NASA and I was really excited because I love learning about space," he said.

Luster wrote about radioisotope power systems, a form of reliable power NASA uses in it's research, and how it could be used.

“Mars trucks or rovers that could go on Mars that people could ride in, I thought that would be possible, or some sort of intergalactic radio that could help with communication," Luster said. "Those were my ideas."

Luster also explored his own superpower in his essay: his hearing loss. 

“I have cochlear implants, which allow me to hear," he said. "And so I thought this is a superpower because I have to learn things like responsibility in charging them every night and keeping them away from water.

"And I thought this could also be helpful as a NASA rocket scientist in keeping my tools away from water and plugging my tools in at night and stuff like that.”

Winning this competition was an exciting surprise for Luster and his family.

It’s even led him to reconsider what he wants to be when he grows up.

“Well I thought I wanted to be a neurosurgeon, but after doing this competition, I don’t know, a rocket scientist… maybe I would like to see what that would be like," he says.

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