For Your Students

February 01, 2002 14 min read
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Following are application dates for student contests, scholarships, and
internships. Asterisks (*) denote new entries.

*February 28 ENGINEERING
The West Point Bicentennial Engineering Design Contest encourages students to create structurally accurate bridges online. The Internet-based contest, sponsored by the U.S. Military Academy and the American Society of Civil Engineers, is open to all K-12 students, who compete individually or in teams of two. Participants design actual highway bridges that pass a simulated load test at minimum cost using the West Point Bridge Designer software. The top 10 teams in each of four regional zones advance to the semifinals, where they download a new project and have three hours to develop a design. The best team from each zone plus the top two teams overall travel to West Point in April for the final competition. Each member of the top three teams from the final round receives a cash scholarship, ranging from $5,000 to $15,000, and a notebook computer. For more information, contact the contest coordinator at or visit

*February 28 ESSAYS
Optimist International invites high school students in grades 10, 11, and 12 from all over North America and the Caribbean to write short essays that address the issue “my place in a changing world.” Optimist Clubs send local winners to district contests to compete for a $650 scholarship. District winners also participate in the international essay contest, which awards scholarships worth $5,000, $3,000, and $2,000 to first-, second-, and third-place winners, respectively. In addition to the scholarship, the first-place international winner receives an expenses-paid trip with his or her parents to the annual Optimist International convention. For more information, contact: Optimist International, 4494 Lindell Blvd., St. Louis, MO 63108; (800) 500-8130, ext. 224; e-mail;

*February 28 FILMS
Kids 16 and under are invited to enter the 2002 “Turn Beauty Inside Out” essay contest. Sponsored by New Moon Publishing, this year’s competition focuses on how girls and women are portrayed in film. Participants select a recent movie and write an essay of no more than 600 words on how it could be enhanced to convey a more positive female image. The essays, which are judged on originality and creativity, should send filmmakers the message that women and girls can be portrayed as strong, independent, fully developed characters that enhance the overall appeal of movies. A total of four cash prizes ranging from $200 to $300 are awarded in two categories, ages 8-11 and 12-16; winning essays are presented to Hollywood executives in May. Additional honorable mention selections are posted on New Moon’s Web site. Essays may be submitted in writing or via e-mail. Contact: New Moon Publishing, TBIO Essay Contest, P.O. Box 3620, Duluth, MN 55803;;

Wells Fargo, a financial services company, announces a scholarship program for all college-bound high school seniors. Two hundred and fifty scholarships of $1,000 each are awarded upon completion of enrollment at a college or university. Scholarships are distributed by random drawings, and applications are available online. For more information, call Wells Fargo Education Financial Services at (800) 658-3567 or go to the Web

PBS stations and Reading Rainbow are accepting entries for the Young Writers and Illustrators Contest, inviting children in grades K-3 to let their imaginations run wild as storybook writers and illustrators. Stories can be nonfiction or fiction, prose or poetry, and must be accompanied by a minimum of five original color illustrations. A panel of local community judges evaluates entries based on originality, creative expression, storytelling, and integration of copy and illustrations. Local winners from each grade are selected to participate in the national competition. Prizes for national winners include a computer, printer, VCR, and Reading Rainbow library set. Deadlines vary according to individual stations. For more information, including contact information for state stations, visit the Web site

NewsCurrents, a weekly current events program produced for schools by Knowledge Unlimited Inc., announces its Student Editorial Cartoon Contest. Students in grades K-12 enter cartoons that are judged on clarity, originality, and knowledge of the subject. First-, second-, and third-place winners are named in three categories: K-6, 7-9, and 10-12. Winners receive savings bonds, and the top 100 cartoons are featured in the forthcoming book Editorial Cartoons by Kids, 2001. For more information, contact: Knowledge Unlimited, NewsCurrents Editorial Cartoon Contest, P.O. Box 52, Madison, WI 53701; (800) 356-2303;

Pfizer, a national pharmaceutical company, invites nominations for the Pfizer Epilepsy Scholarship for college students and college-bound high school seniors. Nominees must have a record of academic and extracurricular excellence and must be undergoing treatment by a physician for epilepsy. Sixteen $3,000 scholarships are awarded. For more information, contact: Pfizer Epilepsy Scholarship Award, IntraMed Educational Group, 230 Park Ave. S., 10th Floor, New York, NY 10003; (212) 614-4100 or (800) AWARD-PS; www.epilepsy-

*March 1 ESSAYS
Kaplan Inc. and Newsweek magazine invite college-bound high school students to submit original essays of 500 to 1,000 words for the eighth annual “My Turn” essay competition. First- and second-place winners receive $5,000 and $2,000, respectively, to be put toward college tuition; eight additional winners get $1,000. The 10 winning entries, plus another 10 honorable mentions, may be published by the Newsweek Education Program. Applications may be obtained through high school guidance counselors or any Kaplan Inc. test-
preparation center. For more information, contact: Kaplan/Newsweek, My Turn Essay Contest, 888 Seventh Ave., New York, NY 10106; (800) KAP-TEST;

Zaner-Bloser Educational Publishers announces a National Handwriting Contest for students in grades 1-6. Six national champions, one from each grade, receive a $500 U.S. savings bond, a pen, and a T-shirt, as well as prizes for their parents, teachers, classmates, and principals. One grand national champion receives prizes worth more than $1,000. Entries are judged on size, shape, slant, and spacing. The contest is open to all students using the Zaner-Bloser Handwriting method. For more information, contact: Zaner-Bloser National Handwriting Contest, P.O. Box 16764, Columbus, OH 43216-6769; (800) 924-9233;

Local Wal-Mart and Sam’s Club stores offer Sam Walton Community Scholarships to college-bound high school students. Each of the 2,300 college scholarships are worth $1,000 and may be put toward the first year’s tuition, books, or on- campus room and board. Each Wal-Mart store distributes applications to high school counselors in January. Wal-Mart also offers $6,000 Walton Foundation Scholarships to 100 children of full-time employees; high school seniors who are themselves employees are eligible for Associate Scholarships. All applicants are judged on financial need, academic record, and ACT or SAT scores. For more information, contact: Wal-Mart Foundation, Scholarship Programs, 702 S.W. Eighth St., Bentonville, AR 72716-9740; (800) 530-9925; e-mail;

As part of its International Scholarship program, Padgett Business Services Foundation offers $500 regional scholarships to graduating high school seniors who are dependents of small-business owners. Parents or guardians must employ fewer than 20 individuals, own at least 10 percent of the stock or capital in the business, and be active in the day-to-day operations of the organization. All college-bound students who meet these requirements and are either U.S. or Canadian citizens may apply. Winners are chosen based on academic strength, extracurricular activities, and 100-word essays describing their career aspirations. Recipients of the regional awards, announced in May, are entered into the international contest, which offers an additional $4,000 in scholarship money. Contact: Maryann Aguilera, 160 Hawthorne Park, Athens, GA 30306; (706) 548-1040; e-mail

*March 1 SCIENCE
The Dr. Bessie F. Lawrence International Summer Science Institute, a monthlong program that invites 75 gifted high school seniors to conduct research at the Weizmann Institute of Science in Israel, offers full scholarships and travel expenses to 20 participants. For three weeks, students work in campus laboratories with leading Israeli scientists and graduate students; they spend the last week doing field research in the Judean Desert. The program also includes weekend visits to major cities and participation in social activities. For more information, contact: Debbie Calise, American Committee for the Weizmann Institute of Science, 130 E. 59th St., 10th Floor, New York, NY 10022; (212) 895-7906; fax (212) 779-3209; e-mail;

*March 1 SPACE DAY
Space Day 2002 launches a series of Design Challenges with the theme “Adventures to Mars!” for youngsters in grades 4-6 in preparation for the international celebration of space on May 2. Under teachers’ supervision, teams of four to six students use math, science, and technology skills to create solutions to three real challenges encountered by people living and working in space. Twelve teams are deemed “stellar” and recognized at a Space Day celebration at the Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum. For more information, contact: Allan Childers, (202) 833-8121; e-mail;

The National Science Teachers Association and Sears, Roebuck, and Co. sponsor the annual Craftsman/NSTA Young Inventors Awards Program. This program encourages students in grades 2-8 to design and build a tool. Ten finalists each receive a $5,000 U.S. savings bond; two winners, one from grades 2-5 and one from grades 6-8, are awarded an additional $5,000 U.S. savings bond. Twelve second-place regional winners, six from each grade level, receive $500 savings bonds; 12 third-place regional winners get $250 savings bonds. Their schools also receive prizes. Contact: Craftsman/NSTA Young Inventors Awards Program, 1840 Wilson Blvd., Arlington, VA 22201; (888) 494-4994; e-mail;

The Gates Millennium Scholars, a program funded by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and administered by the United Negro College Fund, aims to expand access to higher education to those citizens or permanent residents who help reflect the diversity of our society. High school teachers or principals may nominate African American, Native American, Alaskan Native, Asian Pacific American, or Hispanic American college- bound high school seniors with a cumulative GPA of at least 3.3. Nominees must demonstrate both significant financial need and leadership ability through participation in community service or extracurricular activities. One thousand awards are granted; the scholarship amounts depend on the applicants’ financial needs. For more information, contact: Gates Millennium Scholars Program, P.O. Box 1434, Alexandria, VA 22313; (877) 690-GMSP;

*March 15 ESSAYS
The Skirball Institute on American Values of the American Jewish Committee announces its annual essay contest. Students in grades 10, 11, and 12 respond to the question “What do U.S. history and literature teach us about the role of religion in American public life?” First prize is $5,000; second prize is $1,000; and third prize is $500. Some AJC chapters also offer regional prizes of $300. For more information, visit the Skirball Institute on American Values at

Peterson Directed Handwriting is sponsoring the National Cursive Handwriting Contest for students in grades 3-8. Entries are judged on such characteristics as fluent control of letter formation, forward slant, winner from each grade receives a $50 U.S. savings bond and a framed certificate. All entries judged “excellent” are elected to the National Cursive Handwriting Honor Society and are awarded a certificate of recognition. Writing samples should contain at least four lines of writing. Grade 3 entries may be done in pencil; entries from grades 4-8 must be written in ink. Contact: Peterson Handwriting, P.O. Box 249, Greensburg, PA 15601-0249; (724) 837-4900; e-mail mrpencil@peterson-; www.peterson-

The National Association of Student Councils offers the National Association of Student Councils/National Organization on Disability Awards Program, a competition designed to recognize student councils that have worked to involve those with disabilities in student activities. One middle or junior high school and one senior high school each receive a $500 award. The competition is funded by the Aetna Corporation and sponsored by the National Organization on Disability. Contact: NASC/NOD, 1904 Association Dr., Reston, VA 20191-1537; (703) 860-0200, ext. 325; fax (703) 476-5432; e-mail;

The Ayn Rand Institute sponsors an essay contest for high school freshmen and sophomores on Ayn Rand’s novella Anthem. Essays must run between 600 and 1,200 words and focus on one of three topics chosen by the institute. The top essayist receives a $2,000 award. Ten second-prize winners receive $500 each, and 20 third-prize winners receive $200 each. Contact: Anthem Essay Contest, Ayn Rand Institute, P.O. Box 6099, Inglewood, CA 90312; (800) 365-6552, ext. 209; e-mail;

*March 25 ESSAYS
The Harry Singer Foundation, a nonprofit organization that promotes responsibility and involvement in public policy, sponsors three separate essay contests, each offering cash prizes. High school students are eligible to apply for these contests, which address the topics of “War and Peace,” “Government as Regulator,” and “Why Do Terrorists Attack the United States?” Judging is based on how well essays identify specific issues and answer particular questions listed on the Singer Foundation’s Web site. Additionally, schools that submit a minimum of 10 essays receive cash incentives of $50 to $100. Contact: Essay Contest, Harry Singer Foundation, P.O. Box 223159, Carmel, CA 93922; (831) 625-4223; fax (831) 624-7994; e-mail;

The Chevrolet/Michelle Kwan R.E.W.A.R.D.S. Scholarship Program recognizes 10 outstanding female high school students across the United States who are involved in athletics. Each scholarship provides a $5,000 award payable over four years, $2,000 the first year and $1,000 each additional year. Applicants must have a GPA of 3.2 or higher, exhibit excellence in athletics and community involvement, intend to enroll in college and continue athletics while there, and demonstrate financial need. Applicants submit two letters of recommendation and a personal statement of 500 to 750 words describing the impact of athletics on their high school careers. For more information, contact: GM Scholarship Administration Center, 702 W. Fifth Ave., Naperville, IL 60563; (888) 377-5233; fax (630) 428-2695;

*March 31 ART
Dick Blick Art Materials sponsors the annual Linoleum Block Print Contest for students in grades 4-12. Young artists submit linoleum blocks of any size and color to be judged in one of three grade divisions: 4-6, 7-9, and 10-12. Fifteen winners earn plaques and $50 to $400 worth of art materials for their schools. Every participating school is entered in a drawing for a Dick Blick Etching Press. For more information, contact: Dick Blick Art Materials, P.O. Box 1267, Galesburg, IL 61402-1267; (800) 828-4548; fax (800) 621-8293; e-mail;

The Korea Society invites students in grades 9-12 to submit essays responding to the theme “U.S.-Korea relations in the new millennium.” Cash prizes are awarded; a grand-prize winner also receives a weeklong trip for two to Korea. Contact: Korean Cultural Service, Essay on Korea, 2370 Massachusetts Ave. N.W., Washington, DC 20008; (202) 797-6343; fax (202) 387-0413; e-mail;

—Sarah Wassner


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