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November 23, 2010 > Science essay competition

Science essay competition

Submitted By Tara Stewart

Recognized at the first White House Science Fair as one of the nation's leading science and technology competitions, The DuPont Challenge Science Essay Competition, in its 25th year, is seeking entries beginning now through January 31, 2011. The DuPont Challenge, created to honor the memory of the heroes of the 1986 Challenger space shuttle, is true to the flight's educational mission - to "touch the future." The competition celebrates 25 years of inspiring students to excel and achieve in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM).

"Advances in science are critical to the success of DuPont and the nation as a whole," said Ellen Kullman, DuPont chair and CEO. "We believe that STEM education strengthens our ability to meet an ever-increasing need to inspire students of today to be the scientists, explorers and inventors of tomorrow," said Kullman.

The Challenger crew members included Ellison S. Onizuka, Greg Jarvis, Judy Resnik, Michael J. Smith, Dick Scobee, Ron McNair, and Sharon Christa McAuliffe, America's first teacher in space.

All students in grades 7-12 across the United States and Canada may submit their essay entries from now through January 31. Essays are evaluated in two divisions: Junior Division (grades 7, 8, and 9) and Senior Division (grades 10, 11, and 12). This competition attracted more than 10,000 entries in 2010, and since its inception more than 150,000 entries have been received.

To enter, students are encouraged to write a 700 to 1,000-word essay discussing a scientific discovery, theory, event, or technological application that has captured their interest. The range of possible essay topics is as broad as science itself. Essays are judged based on ideas and content, mechanics and conventions, organization, style and creativity, and originality. Entry forms may be obtained at

The competition has more than $75,000 in prizes and awards. In each division, the first place winner receives a $5,000 U.S. savings bond. Second and third place winners receive $3,000 and $2,000 U. S. savings bonds, respectively. The top three winners in each division receive an expenses-paid trip to The Walt Disney World(r) Resort and Kennedy Space Center, accompanied by a parent. Honorable mentions in both divisions receive a $200 U.S. savings bond.

Acknowledging the significant contributions made by teachers, each sponsoring science teacher of a first place winner receives a $500 educational award, an expenses-paid trip with the student and parent to The Walt Disney World(r) Resort and Kennedy Space Center, and an expenses-paid, DuPont-sponsored trip to the 2012 National Science Teachers Association national conference. Sponsoring teachers of the second and third place winners receive $500 and $250 educational awards, respectively, and expenses-paid trips to The Walt Disney World Resort and Kennedy Space Center.

As part of the 25-year celebration, the competition's website has collectible trading cards, featuring 25 inspiring "STEM - All Stars" who made a scientific impact on our lives. In addition, there is an opportunity for teachers to win prizes for their classroom to commemorate the anniversary year. For more information students and teachers should visit

DuPont ( is a science-based products and services company, founded in 1802.

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