DuPont Names Science Essay Winners

May 13, 2015
DuPont announces the winners and honorable mentions of the 2015 DuPont Challenge Science Essay Competition.

DuPont announced the winners and honorable mentions of The 2015 DuPont Challenge Science Essay Competition. Nearly 9,000 middle and high school students from the United States, Canada and their territories submitted science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) essays. Six top winners were chosen for their combination of impressive science research, solid writing skills and creative solutions to some of today’s most pressing global challenges, according to the company.

Students were asked to submit their essays in one of the four following categories: Together, we can feed the world; Together, we can build a secure energy future; Together, we can protect people and the environment; and Together, we can be innovative anywhere.

The winners are:

Senior Division (grades 9-12)

First place: Shreya Ramayya, senior, Palos Verdes Peninsula High School, Rolling Hills Estates, Calif.

Essay: “Microscopic Kaleidoscope”

Sponsoring teacher: Peter Starodub

Second place: Rishi Sundaresan, junior, North Carolina School of Science and Mathematics, Durham, N.C.

Essay: “Solar Wind for Energy? That Is Not Ex-orbit-ant”

Sponsoring teacher: Myra Halpin

Third place: Katilyn Lewter, senior, Lincoln County High School, Fayetteville, Tenn. Essay: “Farming Smarter”

Sponsoring teacher: Brad Parton

Junior Division (grade 6-8)

First place: Ashton Cofer, seventh grade, Gahanna Middle School East, Gahanna, Ohio

Essay: “Can a Potato Chip Revolutionize Architecture and Save Lives?”

Sponsoring teacher: Dave Palguta

Second place: Chris Elliott, eighth grade, Camp Lester Middle School, Okinawa, Japan – a Department of Defense school

Essay: “Reducing Heat-Related Illnesses”

Sponsoring teacher: Maryanne Tirinnanzi

Third place: Zayd Mian, eighth grade, Greenhills School, Ann Arbor, Mich.

Essay: “Hydrogen Cars and Artificial Leaves: Our Clean Energy Future”

Sponsoring teacher: Brandon Groff

The emphasis on recognizing teachers began when The DuPont Challenge was created in 1986, in honor of heroic men and women lost in the Challenger space shuttle disaster of that year. The crew included Ellison S. Onizuka, Greg Jarvis, Judy Resnik, Michael J. Smith, Dick Scobee, Ron McNair and Sharon Christa McAuliffe, who was the first teacher in space.

The DuPont Challenge offers more than $100,000 in total prizes and awards.

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