Illustration of lucy shuttle in space wth australopithecus afarensis

Middle School Second Place Winner

Jane Hanselman, 8th Grade
St. Mary Catholic School, Littleton CO

Silhouettes of humans border the bottom of the circular patch. The earliest humans stand at the ends and a modern-day human stands in the center, looking up at the focus of the patch: the Lucy Mission’s spacecraft. The human body evolves through time, from a small Lucy to a more recent hominid, and lastly to the human figure we recognize today; and yet all these humans are similar through creation itself.

Jane Hanselman Patch Design

Patch design by Jane Hanselman


Depicted in the center of the patch is the Lucy Mission Spacecraft, hurtling through space to those Trojan Asteroids locked in the same orbit as Jupiter. In this design, Jupiter represents the entirety of the Solar System; the asteroids surrounding it provide insight to the Solar System’s origin, just as the prehistoric human silhouettes surrounding the modern-day human provide insight to our human origin. Lastly, the diamond-encrusted letters sporting the message “Lucy in Space” refer to the origin of the name given to the Lucy fossil and this NASA mission: the Beatles’ song, “Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds.”

This Lucy Mission patch design shows how NASA’s plan to revolutionize our understanding of our Solar System’s evolution parallels how Lucy provides insights to our understanding of human evolution. It also demonstrates the amazing capabilities of our humanity and how we have come so far as to reach for the Trojans.

What can we learn about human development from chimpanzees and baboons?
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