Dupont Science Essay Contest

The DuPont Challenge© Science Essay Competitionencourages students in grades 6 through 12 to express their enthusiasm for science by writing an essay. The essay must be at least 700 words and no more than 1000 words and it must be submitted online. You have a choice of four topic areas for your challenge:

  • Together, we can feed the world.
  • Together, we can build a secure energy future.
  • Together, we can protect people and the environment.
  • Together, we can be innovative anywhere.

The DuPont Challenge© Science Essay Competition expects about 10,000 essays and the reward prizes total $100,000, including U.S. Savings Bonds for all of the winners and a special awards trip to Orlando, FL, for the top three students in each division, to be joined by a parent and sponsoring teacher.

They are looking for students who show their passion for science and technology and who are interested in exploring an avenue of science in greater detail.


  • 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 (see the FAQ for how to enter addresses).
  • Previous winners of The DuPont Challenge©.
  • Students graduating from high school before 2016 are NOT eligible.

Check out other essay contests for which you may be eligible.

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January 31, 2016

Maximum Award: 

A $5,000 U.S. Savings Bond and a trip


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DuPont Continues to Inspire Students to Pursue STEM



Sometimes it's difficult to relate science to real world experiences. It's a challenge that seven students met during the 2012 DuPont Challenge science essay competition.

They used personal experiences to write about topics such as asthma, heart problems and environmental issues, and were honored with an award at the Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex's Educator Resource Center on April 27 for their work. "It was a big step to even consider to apply," said Kelvin Manning, associate director of Business Operations at Kennedy. "You did it not only for the opportunity to learn something but to share that passion."

Roshni Sethi, a student from Plainview, N.Y., for example, wrote about her father having a heart attack the day before her mother was scheduled to give birth to her. In her essay, she talks about how doctors saved her father's life, which prompted her to focus her essay on a new science that may eradicate heart failure by using nanowires.

The challenge, now in its 26th year, reaches out to students from grades seven through 12 from all 50 states and Canada. It aims to inspire students to excel and achieve in scientific writing and pursue careers in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM).

The DuPont Challenge is sponsored by its namesake, the DuPont company in collaboration with NASA, NBC Learn, Britannica Digital Learning, the Walt Disney Resort, National Science Teachers Association (NSTA) and A+ Media. The winning students, parents and teachers were invited to tour Kennedy and attend the award ceremony.

After the students and teachers were presented the awards they each had a few moments to reflect on their experience during the competition.

"I've had a lot of time to reflect on my essay, but never had a chance to say thank you to anyone for their support during this time," said Sethi, who wants to become a neurologist in geriatrics.

"Each of the students here took personal experience and used that view to look at science in a different way," said Patricia Simmons, president of the National Science Teacher's Association.

"These essays were very well developed, it speaks to the kind of power you can tap into in science," Manning said. "We need all of you to keep this going, the teachers and most of all the students, to keep the STEM project focused."



Brittney Longley
NASA's John F. Kennedy Space Center

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