Science Essay Contest Topics


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.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Congratulations to our 2016 ISEC Winners!

Brandon Wong, of Bergen County Academies in NJ, was awarded first place for his essay entitled “Bioluminescence: Natural Living Nightlights.” Anthony Zhou, of Mission San Jose High School in CA, received second place for his essay entitled “Avian Navigation: A Marriage of Quantum Mechanics and Biology.” In addition, Emi Royama, also from Bergen County Academies, won third place for her submission “Animal Coloration: The Limitless Hues of the Natural World.”

The DUJS Editorial Board would like to thank all who participated in ISEC 2016. This year we received over 230 submissions from all over the globe, 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 for supporting ISEC 2016.

First Place Winner: Brandon Wong
Grade: 11
Topic: Bioluminescence: Natural Living Nightlights
Bergen County Academies, Hackensack, NJ, USA
What are your thoughts about winning ISEC 2016?

It is such an honor to win first place in ISEC 2016! I am overwhelmed by this pleasant surprise and I am truly grateful for the all the guidance, advice, and support from my advisor, teachers, and peers throughout the process. I would also like to extend my gratitude to DUJS for giving me the opportunity to combine my passion for science with the art of writing and for allowing me to share with the scientific community.

What did you learn while writing your essay?

Prior to writing this essay, my knowledge of bioluminescence was limited to its occurrence as a simple natural phenomenon. During my research, I discovered its ubiquity, with its applications spanning across the vast scientific realm. The research and writing process not only furthered my interest in the interdisciplinary applications of scientific studies but also challenged me to develop my skills in creative scientific writing.
What do you hope to study in college? 

While I have not narrowed down my choices, I intend to major in a STEM subject such as chemistry/chemical engineering, mathematics, physics, or computer science. Meanwhile, I also hope to minor in a liberal art area such as Latin, French, or linguistics.

 

Second Place Winner: Anthony Zhou
Grade: 10
Topic: Avian Navigation: A Marriage of Quantum Mechanics and Biology
Mission San Jose High School, Fremont, CA, USA

What are your thoughts about winning Second Place in ISEC 2016?

I am sincerely honored and thankful to DUJS for being awarded second place at ISEC 2016. This essay has allowed me to develop and express my skills in research and writing while developing an interest in quantum biology. I am truly grateful for this opportunity to have my article published in a scientific journal. Finally, I would like to thank my family and teachers for their invaluable support.

What did you learn while writing your essay? 

This essay has allowed me to see that different fields of science, even as far apart as biology and quantum mechanics, are all interconnected. Furthermore, the union of different disciples can result in amazing discoveries that further the progress of science. I also learned about various quantum phenomena and its applications in biological systems. It was fascinating to learn about the eccentricity of the quantum world. Additionally, I learned that eloquent writing is truly important in the scientific world, as it serves as the basis for conveying ideas and research.

What do you hope to study in college? 

Although I am undecided on what specific major I would like to study, I would like to pursue biology, biochemistry, and quantum physics.

 

Third Place: Emi Royama
Grade: 11
Topic: Animal Coloration: The Limitless Hues of the Natural World
Bergen County Academies, Hackensack, NJ, USA

What are your thoughts about winning Third Place in ISEC 2016?

I am honored to get third place in the ISEC. I was not only able to learn new things myself, but I am ecstatic to be able to share information with other people. I am thankful to everyone who has given me advice and support.

What did you learn while writing your essay? 

While writing my essay, I learned about the building blocks of the physical color that is visible on animals. I also learned about why certain animals are colored, patterned, and structured in the ways that they are. Before writing this essay, I had never thought much about the coloration in animals, but after researching, I learned that there is a reason behind everything in nature.

What do you hope to study in college? 

At the moment, I am undecided in what I want to study in college.

 

 

 

 

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