For Your Students

December 27, 2004 14 min read
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Following are application dates for student contests, scholarships, and internships. Asterisks (*) denote new entries.

High school juniors who are all-around achievers with a cumulative grade-point average (as of 10th grade) of at least 2.75 on a 4.0 scale are encouraged to apply for the Discover Card Tribute Award Scholarship, for any post-high school education or training. Sponsored by Discover Financial Services and the American Association for School Administrators, the award recognizes students who have excelled in areas beyond academics. Up to nine $2,500 prizes in each state and an additional nine $25,000 national prizes are awarded. Contact: Discover Card Tribute Award Scholarship, AASA, 801 N. Quincy St., Suite 700, Arlington, VA 22203; (703) 875-0708; fax (703) 841-1543; e-mail;

*January 7 SCIENCE
The Young Naturalist Awards Program from the American Museum of Natural History invites students in grades 7-12 to conduct original research in biology, earth science, or astronomy. Students work independently and document their research in a written essay or field journal. The 12 finalists (two per grade) receive $500 to $2,500 in scholarships and an expenses-paid trip to New York City to meet scientists at the museum, take a behind-the-scenes tour, and attend an awards ceremony. Winners also will have their essays published. Entrants must be U.S. or Canadian citizens or legal residents living in the United States, Canada, or U.S. territories. Contact: American Museum of Natural History, NCSLET, Young Naturalist Awards, Central Park West at 79th Street, New York, NY 10024; e-mail;

The Elks National Foundation encourages high school seniors nationwide to apply for one of 500 Most Valuable Student scholarships, including two top prizes of $60,000 each, given over four years to one male and one female winner. Second- and third-place prizes of $40,000 and $20,000, also over four years, are each given to one male and one female student. An additional 494 four-year, $4,000 scholarships are also provided. Students are judged on scholarship, leadership, and financial need. Applications are available at local lodges, on the Web site, or by sending a self-addressed, stamped envelope to the foundation. Contact: Elks National Foundation, 2750 N. Lakeview Ave., Chicago, IL 60614; (773) 755-4732; e-mail;

The National Council of Teachers of English accepts nominations for its 2005 Promising Young Writers Program. Eighth grade language arts teachers are encouraged to nominate students and submit an example of each nominee’s best-written work, along with a composition by the nominee on the designated topic and a $5 nomination fee per student. Winners receive a certificate. Contact: Promising Young Writers Program, NCTE, 1111 W. Kenyon Rd., Urbana, IL 61801; e-mail;

The National Honor Society and the National Association of Secondary School Principals award $1,000 scholarships to 200 high school seniors who have shown outstanding character, earned good grades, performed service projects, and demonstrated strong leadership skills. Society chapters may nominate two members. Contact: NASSP, Department of Student Activities, 1904 Association Dr., Reston, VA 20191-1537; (703) 860-0200, ext. 252; fax (703) 476-5432; e-mail;

*February-March SCHOLARSHIPS
Optimist International invites students from North America and the Caribbean to compete for scholarships. Students younger than 19 as of December 31, 2004, write 400- to 500-word essays on the topic “The Power of One.” Local Optimist Clubs send winners to district contests to compete for a $650 scholarship. District winners participate in the international essay contest, competing for scholarships worth $2,000 to $5,000. For the oratorical contest, students younger than 16 as of December 31, 2004, present a four- to five-minute speech titled “My Hero Is ... ” District prizes range from $500 to $1,500. In addition, students through grade 12 who are deaf or hard of hearing may address the same topic using sign language, oral presentation, or both in the Communication Contest for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing; the district-level prize is a $1,500 college scholarship. All submissions should be made to a local Optimist Club. For information on local clubs, contact: Optimist International, Attn: Programs Department, 4494 Lindell Blvd., St. Louis, MO 63108; (800) 500-8130, ext. 235; e-mail;

PBS stations and Reading Rainbow are accepting entries for the Young Writers and Illustrators Contest from children in grades K-3. Stories can be nonfiction, 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 text and illustrations. Local winners from each grade participate in the national competition. Each national winner’s story will be posted on the Reading Rainbow Web site, and winners will receive a library set of 10 Reading Rainbow episodes on DVD and a related book. Deadlines vary by individual station. For more information, including contact information for local stations, contact: Diane Miller, (800) 228-4630;

The National Society Daughters of the American Revolution awards the Dr. Aura-Lee Pittinger American History Scholarship, which provides $2,000 a year for up to four years, to a graduating senior who will pursue concentrated study of at least 24 credit hours in American history and government. Renewal is based on an annual transcript review by the national chairman. Students must be sponsored by a local DAR chapter. An application form and fact sheet may be obtained by sending a self-addressed, stamped envelope to NSDAR. Contact: NSDAR, Committee Services, Attn: Scholarships, 1776 D St. N.W., Washington, DC 20006; (202) 879-3292;

The Young Epidemiology Scholars competition for original student research offers scholarships to high school juniors and seniors who conduct outstanding research projects that apply epidemiological methods of analysis to a health-related issue. The competition is designed to inspire talented students to investigate the many behavioral, biological, environmental, and social factors that affect health and to identify ways to improve the health of the public. Students who are citizens or permanent residents of the United States and who are either homeschooled or enrolled in a high school in the United States, Puerto Rico, Guam, the U.S. Virgin Islands, American Samoa, Midway, Wake Island, or the Mariana Islands are eligible for the competition. Only one project per student will be accepted. Up to 120 students will share as much as $456,000 in scholarships, with the top two national winners each receiving $50,000. Registration and submissions must be made online. Contact: YES, (800) 626-9795, ext. 5932; e-mail;

Students in grades 3-12 who attend rural schools are invited to participate in the National Rural Education Association Foundation’s essay contest. Elementary school entries are limited to 250 words; middle and high school entries may be up to 500 words. Essays are written in response to prompts and are judged on originality, focus, mechanics, and overall quality. The winning elementary student receives $250, and the runner-up gets $100. The top middle and high school entries each earn $400; runners-up each win $200. For more information, contact: Dr. Bob Mooneyham, Executive Director, NREA Headquarters, University of Oklahoma, 820 Van Vleet Oval, Room 227, Norman, OK 73019; (405) 325-7959; e-mail;

*February 1 TECHNOLOGY
Toshiba and the National Science Teachers Association invite U.S. and Canadian K-12 students to submit entries for ExploraVision. Student teams consider the impact of science and technology on society and how innovative thinking can change the future, then propose a new technology that might exist in 20 years. First-place team members each receive a $10,000 U.S. savings bond; second-place members receive $5,000 bonds. For more information, contact: Toshiba/NSTA ExploraVision Awards, 1840 Wilson Blvd., Arlington, VA 22201; (800) EXPLOR-9; e-mail;

*February 4 PHILOSOPHY
The Fifth Annual Kids Philosophy Slam asks students in grades K-12 to write their personal thoughts and observations about the question “What is more important in your life, Truth or Beauty?” including a definition of the one they choose. Essays must be 500 words or fewer, preferably typed. Students in grades K-5 may paint or draw a picture, write a poem or short story, or use any creative combination of words and pictures. Teachers are encouraged to submit students’ class assignments. Each grade level has a national winner and runner-up. More than $5,000 in prizes is awarded, and the school with the most entries receives $1,000 in Kids Philosophy Slam merchandise. The top four high school winners share $2,000 in savings bonds and debate the question before a live audience at the Philosophy Slam Championship in May. International entries are encouraged. Complete rules are available on the Web site. For more information, contact: Kids Philosophy Slam, P.O. Box 406, Lanesboro, MN 55949; (507) 467-0107;

*February 5 PEACE ESSAY
The United States Institute of Peace announces the National Peace Essay Contest for students in grades 9-12. For the 2004-05 contest, applicants’ compositions must examine the process of democratization. First-place winners from each state receive $1,000 college scholarships and compete for national awards of $2,500 to $10,000. National award amounts include state awards. First-place state winners also are invited to attend an expenses-paid awards program in Washington, D.C., in June. For more information, contact: USIP, 1200 17th St. N.W., Suite 200, Washington, DC 20036; (202) 429-3854; e-mail;

BMI, a not-for-profit American performing rights organization, and the BMI Foundation present the 52nd annual Student Composer Award Competition. Students who submit original music are eligible for cash awards of $500 to $5,000. There are no limitations on instrumentation, style, or length of work. Participants must be citizens of countries in North America, Latin America, or the Caribbean and younger than 20 years of age as of December 31, 2004. Contact: Ralph N. Jackson, Director, BMI Student Composer Awards, 320 W. 57th St., New York, NY 10019; e-mail;

*February 15 ART AND POETRY
River of Words, a poetry and art program co-founded by former Poet Laureate Robert Hass and Berkeley writer Pamela Michael and affiliated with the Library of Congress Center for the Book, announces the ninth annual International Environmental Poetry and Art Contest. K-12 students are encouraged to submit poetry or art about watersheds. Poetry is accepted in English, Spanish, and American Sign Language. Two-dimensional art is accepted in all media. Winners are chosen in four age categories in both poetry and art. One international winner, eight national grand-prize winners, and their parents will be flown from their homes to be honored at a weeklong celebration at the Library of Congress in Washington, D.C. Contact: River of Words, P.O. Box 4000-J, Berkeley, CA 94704; (510) 548-POEM; fax (510) 548-2095; e-mail;

Space Day 2005 has launched a new series of Design Challenges for students in grades 4-8 in preparation for the Space Day celebration in May. This year’s theme is “Return to the Moon.” Under teacher supervision or as part of a youth group, teams of two or more students use math, science, and technology skills to create solutions to three real challenges of living and working in space. Twenty-one teams deemed “stellar” are recognized at the Space Day celebration; all teams that submit solutions receive a certificate of appreciation signed by Senator John Glenn. More information and registration materials are available on the Web site. Contact: Sandy Madison, (301) 897-6282; e-mail;

EF Educational Tours announces the EF Global Citizen Awards, an annual essay contest for college-bound seniors. Ten U.S. students and two Canadian students each receive a 10-day, expenses-paid educational tour of Europe. Applicants must be nominated by their schools and are selected based on an essay discussing what it means to be a global citizen. Application materials and the complete essay question are available on the Web site. Contact: Marisa Talbot, Global Citizen Program, EF Educational Tours, EF Center Boston, 1 Education St., Cambridge, MA 02141-1883; (617) 619-1591; e-mail;

*February 28 COMIC FICTION
Highlights for Children seeks funny stories from 2- to 12-year-olds for its 26th annual fiction contest. Submissions should not exceed 500 words. Indicate the word count in the upper-right corner of the first page. Three winners receive $1,000 each and publication of their stories in Highlights. Other contest submissions are considered for purchase by the magazine. Contact: Fiction Contest, Highlights for Children, 803 Church St., Honesdale, PA 18431; (570) 253-1080.

The American Chemical Society Scholars Program invites African American, Hispanic/Latino, and Native American high school seniors and college freshmen, sophomores, and juniors to apply for scholarships of up to $3,000. Candidates must be U.S. citizens or permanent residents of the United States and demonstrate financial need. They also must be high achievers in chemistry or other chemical sciences and intend to major in chemistry, biochemistry, chemical engineering, or other related sciences in preparation for careers in the chemical sciences or chemical technology. Contact: American Chemical Society Scholars Program, Department of Diversity Programs, 1155 16th St. N.W., Washington, DC 20036; (800) 227-5558, ext. 6250; e-mail;

The Print and Graphics Scholarship Foundation annually sponsors a national competition for students interested in professional and executive careers in the graphics communications industry. Full-time high school seniors or high school graduates who have not yet attended college may apply for one of 300 scholarships of $1,000 to $1,500 each. Candidates are judged on high school academic records, class rank, school recommendations, extracurricular activities, and academic honors. Contact: Print and Graphics Scholarship Foundation, 200 Deer Run Rd., Sewickley, PA 15143-2600; (412) 741-6860, ext. 161; fax (412) 741-2311;

As part of its International Scholarship Program, Padgett Business Services Foundation offers $500 regional scholarships to college-bound high school seniors in the United States or Canada 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 company. Winners are chosen based on academic strength, extracurricular activities, and 100-word essays describing their career aspirations, and they are eligible for an additional $4,000 in scholarship money. Contact: Heather Stokley, 160 Hawthorne Park, Athens, GA 30306; (706) 548-1040; e-mail

The Dr. Bessie F. Lawrence International Summer Science Institute, a four-week program that accepts 75 gifted high school seniors from around the world to conduct research in Israel at the Weizmann Institute of Science, offers full scholarships and travel expenses to 20 U.S. 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 social activities and weekend visits to major cities. Contact: Debbie Calise, American Committee for the Weizmann Institute of Science, 633 Third Ave., 20th Floor, New York, NY 10017; (212) 895-7906; fax (212) 895-7993; e-mail;

The Horace Mann Co., an Illinois-based firm that sells insurance and retirement annuities to educators, invites college-bound seniors to apply for the Horace Mann Scholarship Program. Parents or legal guardians must be employed by a U.S. public school or college. Applicants must have a B average. One $15,000 scholarship, one $10,000 scholarship, and 10 $2,500 scholarships will be given. Residents of Hawaii, New Jersey, and New York are not eligible to apply. Contact: Horace Mann Companies, Scholarship Program, Springfield, IL 62715-0001; (217) 788-5197;

—Emily Goodman and Marianne Hurst


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