Essay Competition – High School
Grades: 9 – 12

Description – Grades: 9 – 12

The Essay Competition allows SECME coordinators to reinforce STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics) skills through writing. Students will choose between a non-fiction or science-fiction topic to write an original essay.

Students will write an original essay and provide a Works Cited page.


>>>>>> Essay Guideline for High School in PDF Format <<<<<<<

 >>>>>> Essay Grades 9-12 Scoresheet in PDF Format <<<<<<<  


Non-Fiction Topics

  • Digital Citizenship
    • What is digital citizenship? How do you practice good digital citizenship? Write about three rules that you and your classmates should follow when you are online. Provide personal examples of how good digital citizenship has impacted your online interactions.
  • Technology
    • Advanced AI technology is everywhere, requiring many resources like electricity and water. Write about the advantages and disadvantages of using this technology. How can you be a good steward of the environment when utilizing this advanced technology?
  • STEM Role Model
    • Who do you consider to be your STEM role model? It could be an inventor, an engineer, an architect, an artist, or anyone who has succeeded in the STEM industry. Why do you admire this individual? How did their story impact or inspire you on your journey in STEM?

TOP >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>> 

Science-Fiction Topics

  • New Technologies
    • Imagine new technologies that could be used to solve global or environmental issues. For example, they could imagine a new type of solar panel that is more efficient and affordable or a new type of desalination plant that can turn seawater into drinking water.
  • Time Travel
    • Imagine what it would be like to travel through time and how this could impact STEM fields. For example, imagine going back to prevent a disaster or going forward in time to see how your work has impacted the world.
  • Parallel Universes
    • Imagine what it would be like to travel to a parallel universe and how this could impact STEM fields. For example, imagine finding that a parallel universe has developed a new type of physics that could revolutionize our understanding of the universe or a parallel universe where humans have already solved environmental problems.

TOP >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>> 

Process Map

*Click on the image to see the enlarged version.

  1. Choose a topic from either the non-fiction or science-fiction list.
  2. Research the topic. 
  3. Draft the essay, read and review
  4. Ask your SECME Coordinator, ELA teacher, and/or parent/guardian for feedback.
  5. Revise based on the feedback, and if necessary, repeat, go back to step 3 and repeat with changes.
  6. Finalize your essay.
  7. Create a Works Cited page and list all the sources you used (and cited) in your essay.
  8. Submit your cover page, finalized essay, and Works Cited page.

TOP >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>> 

Submission Requirements and Scoring

Submit a PDF file that includes the cover page, finalized essay, and Works Cited page with the file name “SECME_Essay_High_Your School Name.‘”

For detailed scoring, please download the scoresheet.

  1. Organization – 30%
    • Cover page
    • Works Cited Page (MLA format)
    • Grammar, Spelling, and Formatting
  2. Essay – 70%
    • Adherence to Topic
    • Originality and Coherence
    • Creativity
    • Analysis and Use of Evidence
    • Word Count (500 – 750 words)

TOP >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>