Science Essay Competition 2014

WILMINGTON, Del., Nov. 13, 2014 – Inspiring the next generation of innovators at the forefront of scientific discovery has been a goal of The DuPont Challenge Science Essay Competition for the past 29 years.

This year, The DuPont Challenge is pleased to announce a new division and expanded grade levels: the new Elementary Division is open to students in grades K-5, the Junior Division is now open to students in grades 6-8, and the Senior Division is now open to students in grades 9-12, from across the United States, Canada and U.S. Territories.

The DuPont Challenge encourages students to develop a better understanding and passion for STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) by researching and writing an informative essay offering solutions to today’s challenges regarding food, energy, protection and innovation, or a story on a science discovery.

“The increase in population, a growing global middle class and finite natural resources are challenges that we believe can be solved through collaborative science,” said Karen A. Fletcher, vice president of DuPont Engineering, Facilities Services & Real Estate and Chief Engineer. “Solvers have such a critical role in the work we do globally. And it is through programs like The DuPont Challenge that we can help inspire tomorrow’s cutting-edge solvers.”

The Elementary Division (grades K-5) asks teachers to help their students explore STEM topics in a classroom-based challenge that gives students the chance to participate in a creative, inquiry-based exploration. The challenges are based on the Next Generation Science Standards and ask students to research, observe, analyze, interpret and communicate creatively. Together, the teachers and students will show their imagination and originality by writing a science story about what they discovered. Submissions are accepted from Nov. 1, 2014, to March 1, 2015.

More than $50,000 in prizes and awards for the winning students, teachers and schools are offered in the Elementary Division. Awards include a Science Is Fun Day assembly for the winning classroom, as well as educational materials and science resources from Britannica Digital Learning, Science Weekly and Carolina Biological Supply. The winning teacher in each grade also will receive an expenses-paid trip to the National Science Teachers Association (NSTA) National Conference in 2016.

All students in the Junior and Senior Divisions (grades 6-12) may submit a 700–1,000-word essay, from Nov. 15, 2014, to Jan. 31, 2015, addressing one of the following four categories:

·         Together, we can feed the world.

·         Together, we can build a secure energy future.

·         Together, we can protect people and the environment.

·         Together, we can be innovative anywhere.

The DuPont Challenge offers more than $100,000 in prizes and awards for the Junior and Senior Divisions. The top three winners in each division, plus a parent and sponsoring teacher, receive an expenses-paid trip to the Walt Disney World® Resort and an exclusive tour of the Kennedy Space Center in Orlando, Fla. In addition, winning students receive a savings bond and sponsoring teachers receive an expenses-paid trip to the NSTA national conference in 2016. All winners receive digital reference materials from Britannica Digital Learning and the NBC Learn Science Collection for both their personal use and for their entire school. 

For more information including official rules, entry forms and award details about the Elementary Division, please visit thechallenge.dupont.com/elementary and for the Junior and Senior Divisions, please visit thechallenge.dupont.com/essay.

The 2015 DuPont Challenge Science Essay Competition is sponsored by DuPont in collaboration with A+ Media, Britannica Digital Learning, Carolina Biological Supply, NASA, Turnitin and the National Science Teachers Association (NSTA).

DuPont (NYSE: DD) has been bringing world-class science and engineering to the global marketplace in the form of innovative products, materials, and services since 1802. The company believes that by collaborating with customers, governments, NGOs, and thought leaders we can help find solutions to such global challenges as providing enough healthy food for people everywhere, decreasing dependence on fossil fuels, and protecting life and the environment. For additional information about DuPont and its commitment to inclusive innovation, please visit http://www.dupont.com.

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11/13/14

Walt Disney World® is a registered trademark of Walt Disney Company.

The essay competition was created to inspire students to explore connections between human rights and science, engineering and the health professions. Students may write on any topic at the intersection of science and/or technology with human rights.

The AAAS Science and Human Rights Coalition Student Essay Competition is made possible by the AAAS-Andrew M. Sessler Fund for Science, Education, and Human Rights.

Past Winners:

2017

66 students from 32 different countries entered the competition. The essays covered a wide range of topics at the intersection of science of human rights, including reproductive technologies, food security, artificial intelligence, data privacy, and access to water.  The winners will be recognized at the July 27, 2017 Science and Human Rights Coalition Meeting in Washington, D.C. 


Graduate Student Winner
Miriam Aczel, Imperial College London 
Essay Title: "Fracking and Human Rights: Using a Rights-Based Framework to Regulate a New Technology"


Undergraduate Student Winner
Church Lieu, California State University – Los Angeles
Essay Title: "The Augmentation Gap"


Honorable Mentions
Kylie Orme, University of Utah
Essay Title: “Mr. Robot: Morality, AI, and Personhood” 

Elaine Huang, Lafayette College
Essay Title: "Doomed to Digital Dependence? Children in the Age of Persuasive Technology"


2016

42 students from 10 different countries entered the competition. The essays represented a wide range of scientific topics, including child psychology and development; personalized medicine; assistive technologies; food security; information technology; research ethics; environmental disasters; forensic science; and the place of ethnic, racial, and gender identity in scientific research. The winners were recognized at the July 2016 Science and Human Rights Coalition Meeting in Washington, D.C.


Graduate Student Winner
Julie Fleischman, Michigan State University
Essay Title: “Skeletal Analysis after Crimes Against Humanity and Genocides: Implications for Human Rights”

Ms. Fleischman is an Anthropology doctoral student at Michigan State University.  She is completing her dissertation research on human remains from the Khmer Rouge era in Cambodia; she is focusing on the skeletal injuries as well as how the remains are understood in contemporary Cambodian society.  Her primary research interests include forensic anthropology, human rights, and skeletal trauma. 


Undergraduate Student Winner
Tanner Rolfe, University of Dayton
Essay Title: “Living Water: A Catholic Social Teaching Perspective on PFOA and Human Rights”

Tanner is currently a junior at the University of Dayton majoring in mechanical engineering with an intended minor in mechanical systems. He has a special interest in applications of shape-changing mechanisms and is currently involved in undergraduate research focused on kinematic synthesis of variable geometry linkages. He says, "I love the design process: it allows me to express my creativity while giving me the opportunity to apply my skills in a practical and significant way.After graduation, he hopes to attend graduate school in pursuit of a master’s degree in engineering, and aspires to one day earn PE licensure. 


Honorable Mention for Creativity and Originality
Priyanka Menon, Harvard University
Essay Title: “Mathematics and the Question of Human Rights”

Priyanka Menon graduated from Harvard College in 2016 with a B.A. in Mathematics and a secondary in History. She is primarily interested in the histories and theories of human rights, political violence, and civil disobedience.


2015

29 students from 8 different countries entered the competition. The essays represent a wide range of scientific topics: neuroscience, biology, ‘Big Data’, forensic anthropology, science policy, STEM education, wildlife ecology, environmental sustainability, sociology, medicine, global health, science ethics, stem cell research, materials engineering, crowd-sourcing, computer science, biotechnology, genetics, agricultural sciences, climate change, and information technology. The winners were recognized at the July 2015 Science and Human Rights Coalition Meeting in Washington, D.C.


Graduate Student Winner
Wasima Khan, Erasmus School of Law, Erasmus University Rotterdam
Essay Title: "Profits, Medicine, and the Human Right to Health in the Pharmaceutical Industry: Educating (Future) Business Leaders"

Wasima Khan, J.D., is a PhD candidate in Corporate Law at the Erasmus School of Law, Erasmus University Rotterdam, the Netherlands. Wasima’s forthcoming dissertation focuses on how responsibilities toward distributive justice can be implemented in law, business, and society.


Undergraduate Student Winner
Lauren Y. Chan, Queen's University
Essay Title: “The Pursuit of Perfection? Fetal Genetic Screening"

Lauren is a first year medical student at Queen’s University in Canada, and was one of ten students accepted into the inaugural year of the Accelerated Route to Medical School program in 2013. She is passionate about scientific research and human rights, and hopes to incorporate global health into her future medical career.


Honorable Mentions
Jonah S. Rubin, University of Chicago
Essay Title: “Spain’s Laboratory of Hope and Dignity: Scientific Exhumations and the Making of Dead Citizens"

Neha Shah, Georgetown University
Essay Title: "The Structural Human Rights Violations of Malaria"


2014

53 students from eleven different countries entered the competition. Their essays covered almost as many topics, addressing human rights concerns connected to surrogacy, immunization, bio-technology, genetic tests, environmental health issues, and more. Many essays highlighted potential contributions of science and technology to protecting human rights, while others gave thoughtful consideration to ways in which human rights principles can inform scientific research and practice. The winners were recognized at the July 2014 Science and Human Rights Coalition Meeting in Washington, D.C.


Graduate Student Winner
Wasiu Adedapo Lawal, The University of Texas at Arlington
Essay Title: "Water as a Friend and a Right"
Read the winning graduate essay.


Undergraduate Student Winner
Surabhi Chaturvedi, National Law Institute University, Bhopal
Essay Title: “Satellite Imagery in International Human Rights Litigation”
Read the winning undergraduate essay. 


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