Scientific Topics For Essay Contest

Take the DuPont Challenge and you could win U.S. Savings Bond. The DuPont Challenge is proudly sponsored by the DuPont Center for Collaborative Research & Education. As the world population continues to grow and become more connected than ever, The DuPont Challenge asks students to consider most important challenges by researching and writing a 700-1,000-word science essay. Three winners will be selected.

DuPont company was founded in 1802 and it is the most dynamic science company in the world.  DuPont puts science to work by creating sustainable solutions essential to a better, safer, healthier life for people everywhere.


  • Students currently enrolled in grades 6 through 12
  • Students attending public, private, or home schools in the United States, Canada, or their territories
  • Students enrolled in Department of Defense schools, grades 6–12
  • All students must be 13 years of age prior to Saturday, February 7, 2016, to submit their essay
  • Previous winners of The DuPont Challenge
  • Students graduating from high school before 2016 are not eligible

How to Apply:

  • For applying the scholarship, the candidates must submit the on-line Official Entry Form through the given link:

  • The candidates are also required to upload 700-1,000-word science essay in one of the four categories:
  1. Together, we can feed the world
  2. Together, we can build a secure energy
  3. Together, we can protect people and the environment
  4. Together, we can be innovative

Essay Guideline:

  • Write an original 700 to 1,000-word essay created exclusively for The DuPont Challenge.
  • Your essay must address a topic that falls under ONE of the four categories of Challenges. The chosen Challenge must be specified on the Official Entry Form when submitting your essay.
  • Write only about a science-related topic. No matter how well-written and researched, essays submitted on non-science topics are disqualified.
  • Your essay must be written in English.
  • Essays should be written using your word processor of choice and pasted into the Essay Box of the Official Entry Form.
  • Do NOT put your name, school name or any other personal information in the body of your essay. Enter your name and other personal information only on the designated fields in the Official Entry Form.
  • Your essay title must appear in the Entry Form box called “Title of Essay.” Do not include the title of your essay in the Essay Box.
  • Attribute quotes and any ideas that are not your own within the body of the essay. Do not use footnotes or endnotes.
  • Your essay must include a bibliography of your source material, pasted in the Bibliography box of the Official Entry Form. (MLA style is recommended.)
  • Avoid plagiarism. Essays are carefully reviewed by multiple judges and checked for plagiarism.
  • Proofread your essay carefully. Your essay will be judged not only on the science, but also on creativity, spelling, punctuation, and grammar.
  • Do not include illustrations, graphics, or diagrams.

Award Amount:

Awards are as follows:

  1. First Place Winner: U.S. Savings Bond – $5,000 at maturity
  2. Second Place Winner: U.S. Savings Bond – $3,000 at maturity
  3. Third Place Winner: U.S. Savings Bond – $1,000 at maturity

All the winners will also receive the following:

  1. Expenses-paid Orlando trip
  2. Britannica Digital Learning E-book collection, including Britannica Illustrated Science Library (67 E-book volumes total)
  3. Britannica’s 5 iOS science apps

Honorable Mentions

  1. U.S. Savings Bond – $200 at maturity
  2. Britannica’s The Elementshardcover book

Application Deadline:

The Science Essay Competition will start from November 15, 2015, until February 5, 2016, at 11:55 pm Pacific time.

Link for More Information:

Congratulations to our 2014 ISEC Winners and Runner-Ups!

Kevin Jong-Hyeon Shin, of the Seoul International School in Seoul, South Korea, was awarded first place for his essay “Bona Fide Beauty Led Off By Bona Fide Change.”Victoria Yang, of Thomas Jefferson High School for Science and Technology in Alexandria, VA, received second place for her essay entitled “Graphene: The Hope for Renewable Energy.”

In addition, Alexander Stangl, of Bergen County Academics AAST in Hackensack, NJ, won third place for his submission describing Quantum Cryptology and Ivan Yeo Weimin, of Hwa Chong Institution in Singapore, was honored as a runner-up for his essay describing membranes and reverse osmosis methods used in water desalination.

The DUJS Editorial Board would like to thank all who participated in ISEC 2014. This year we received over 265 submissions from twenty-one different countries, making our selection process extremely difficult. To all of our contestants, we wish you all the best as you continue your studies in science. We would also like to thank the Dartmouth College Office of Undergraduate Admissions, the National Association of Science Writers, and the American Society of Cell Biology for supporting ISEC 2014.

First Place Winner: Kevin Jong-Hyeon Shin
Grade: 11
Topic: Nitrogen Plasma Surgery
Seoul International School, South Korea

What are your thoughts about winning ISEC 2014?

It is a true honor to be recognized as this year’s first place winner. This opportunity allowed me to scrutinize a specific topic in the realms of Science and gave me a chance to elaborate on such topic. I am overwhelmed with gratitude for all the help and advice I received from my teachers, family, and friends.

What did you learn while writing your essay? 
I learned that it requires sincere knowledge and passion to be able to express your scientific thoughts through writing. It is not possible to produce a genuine piece of writing if you do not have the deepest ideas and spirit for that subject. It requires more than inchoate knowledge to be able to produce a greatly elaborated essay, and more importantly, it is important to communicate with your audience through your unique voice.

What do you hope to study in college? 

I hope to take on a medical path in college, meaning it would be my passion to study Biology and Chemistry. I believe that the applications in the world of medicine are overwhelming, and it would be a pleasure to learn those skills.

Second Place Winner: Victoria Yang
Grade: 11

Topic: Graphene: The Hope for Renewable Energy
Thomas Jefferson High School for Science and Technology, USA

What are your thoughts about winning Second Place?
I am honored to win second place and am glad that ISEC provided me an opportunity to combine my two passions, writing and the sciences. I am excited to be able read my work in print and am thankful to everyone who made my participation in this competition possible.

What did you learn while writing your essay? 
I learned a lot about the research being conducted with new materials such as graphene, and how these materials are being applied across such a wide variety of fields.Most of the current research I read was about how graphene was being applied in the field of physics, so it was interesting to delve deeper and research its use in renewable energy.

What do you hope to study in college? 

In college I either hope to study chemical engineering or biochemistry.

Third Place: Alexander Stangl
Grade: 11
Topic: Quantium Cryptology: A New Foundation for Information Security
Bergen County Academics, USA

What did you learn while writing your essay? 
I had previously believed computer science to primarily be a tool which lends itself to the sciences through facilitating the modeling and analysis of complex systems. The notion that some of the core principles of quantum mechanics could lend themselves to theoretical computer science had been a pleasant surprise for me.

What do you hope to study in college? 

My current intention is to major in either mathematics or physics, with a minor in computer science.

Runner-Up: Ivan Yeo Weimin
Grade: 11
Topic: Membranes: A Solution for Our 21st Century Water Woes
Hwa Chong Institution, Singapore

What did you learn while writing your essay? 
I learned that scientific innovation and discovery requires the collaboration of many scientists around the world as different people have expertise in various fields. We should not be constrained by the rules of the past and think that past theories are set in stone as science is a dynamic and robust field.

What do you hope to study in college? 

I hope to study Chemical or Biomedical Engineering in college.




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