I still remember that chilly December day, sitting in science class. I’d finished a worksheet early and decided to get a TIME for Kids magazine off of Mrs. Estevez’s bookshelf. It was the 2008 Invention Issue, but that wasn’t the only thing that caught my eye. In the magazine, there was an article about a girl who named the Mars Exploration Rovers, Spirit and Opportunity.
The article also talked about the essay contest NASA was holding to name its next Mars rover. Before I even knew anything else about it, a single word flooded my 11-year-old mind: Curiosity.