DuPont 2011 Science Essay Competition Issues a Call for Entries

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DuPont Challenge Celebrates 25 Years Honoring Challenger Astronauts and STEM Education

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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.

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 starting Nov. 15. 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 Nov. 15 to Jan. 31, 2011. 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. For more information about The DuPont Challenge 2011 Science Essay Competition, sponsored by DuPont in collaboration with The Walt Disney World® Resort, NASA, National Science Teachers Association (NSTA) and A+ Media, students and teachers should visit

The DuPont Challenge gives students the opportunity to write a 700-1,000-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.

The DuPont Challenge 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® Resort and Kennedy Space Center, accompanied by a parent. Honorable mentions in both divisions receive a $200 U.S savings bond.

The DuPont Challenge also acknowledges 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® 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 DuPont Challenge website has collectible trading cards, featuring 25 inspiring “STEM - All Stars” who made a scientific impact on our lives. DuPont invites all to celebrate the 25th year of The DuPont Challenge by collecting all 25 of these science superstars. Teachers are encouraged to collect the whole set for their classrooms as inspiration for this year’s competition.

In addition to the 25 STEM All Stars collectible cards, DuPont will celebrate “25 Days of Giveaways,” an opportunity for teachers to win prizes for their classroom to commemorate the anniversary year. Prizes include DuPont shuttle pens, backpacks, class trips to one of the Challenger Centers in the United State and much more. Teachers can register to participate in the “25 Days of Giveaways” at

DuPont ( is a science-based products and services company. Founded in 1802, DuPont puts science to work by creating sustainable solutions essential to a better, safer, healthier life for people everywhere. Operating in more than 90 countries, DuPont offers a wide range of innovative products and services for markets including agriculture and food; building and construction; communications; and transportation.

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


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