GUILFORD, Conn. (WTNH) — An eight-year-old from Guilford is in the running to win a national science competition by NASA.

Zach Tolchin is a semi-finalist in NASA’s The Power to Explore Student Writing Challenge.

His essay outlines a plan to use a nuclear battery called a “radioisotope,” to explore the water on an active asteroid.

Zach says he’s always been interested in science.

“When I was really little I used to like making stuff out of things like glue and water, but now I was thinking it would be really cool to see if there is other life in space. Its really cool,” he said.

Zach goes to the Foote School in New Haven. His parents are both doctors.

“We are so proud of zack. He’s always been really interested in discovering new things, and exploring the world and even beyond our world. And so we are really excited that he participated in this challenge,” his mother said.

The winner gets a trip to the NASA research center in Ohio to learn firsthand about powering NASA missions.