Science Essay Scholarship

Would you ever guess that feeding dog food to your family as a kid might help you earn a scholarship? That's exactly what happened to Lauren Croda, one of the recipients of a 2009 Bio-Rad scholarship! Applicants for the 2009 Bio-Rad Scholarship Program were asked to answer one of the two following questions:

  1. What can be done to encourage interest and participation in science?
  2. How can science be used to improve our world today?

Below, you can read a little about each of the three winning students, as well as view a pdf of each of their winning essays.

Lauren Croda

Lauren Croda will soon graduate from De Anza High School in El Sobrante, California and will focus on studying pediatrics in college. Lauren's science passion began at a very early age, when she would often perform her own "experiments" on her family members, like having them taste-test different animal food! She recounts cool science class demonstrations, like "...completing a circuit using wires attached to a student's capped front teeth" and sees immense value in hands-on projects, writing "Hands-on learning experiences are vital to gaining interest in science, showing students that what they learn on paper operates not only in books, but in everyday life." Check out Lauren's complete essay to read more about from where she got her inspiration and why she thinks it's so important to continue inspiring students.

Sanjit Rai

Also a past recipient of two Science Buddies awards, Sanjit Rai will study biomedical engineering at UC Davis upon graduating from John Swett High School in Rodeo, California. Her essay focuses on the importance of applying science to protect our planet from growing environmental impacts. Sanjit stresses the importance of applying scientific principles to help advance our world and to care for our planet: "Alternative energy resources are our future...Science is intertwined with so many subjects that it is something that everyone needs to be educated in; it exists in everything." Read Sanjit's full essay to learn more about her ideas.

Kiana Ward

Kiana Ward is currently a senior at El Cerrito High School in El Cerrito, California. She plans to attend Brown University, where she will study international relations and the sciences, as she aspires to obtain a career in the International Agency for Atomic Energy. Kiana emphasizes the importance of teaching young children how fascinating and fun science is. To stress that entertainment and science can mix, she states, "...kids are interested in superheroes and movie stars. Big Science (BS) needs big stars and a science superhero who uses his huge brain to outwit the villains." View Kiana's complete essay to read more of her ideas and who she thinks should be getting more superstar attention.


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You walk around the world thinking about why things are the way they are. You’re perpetually curious. You’re a science person. You also want a way to pay for college. Take a look at some of these scholarships and competitions. They’re designed for students interested in science, math, engineering and technology.

One of the techniques of being successful in obtaining a scholarship is to target multiple scholarships in one research project or essay. For instance, you can enter similar research-based projects in both the Siemens Competition in Math, Science & Technology and the Intel Science Talent Search. If you’re a writer, not a researcher, your DNA Day Essay Contest and DuPont Challenge Science Essay could be on the same theme.

American Chemical Society Scholars Program - For high school seniors and college students who are underrepresented minorities who want to study of chemistry or chemistry-related fields, such as environmental science, toxicology and chemical technology.

Buick Achievers Scholarship Program - For current high school seniors or high school graduates who are first-time college students in the fall who need financial assistance to attend college. You must plan to major in a course of study that focuses on STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, or Math).

Davidson Fellows Scholarship- For students under 18 years old who have completed a significant piece of work in Mathematics, Science, Literature, Music, Technology, Philosophy and Outside the Box. Significant work is an accomplishment that experts in the field recognize as meaningful and has the potential to make a positive contribution to society.

DNA Day Essay Contest - For students in grades 9-12 the contest asks you to think about the important concepts of genetics.

DuPont Challenge Science Essay - Write an essay of at least 700 words expressing your enthusiasm for science.

EngineerGirl Essay Contest - This essay competition asks boys and girls to write an essay about a different subject.

Intel Science Talent Search - Intel Science Talent Search is for students in their senior year of high school who have created a research-based science or math project. Entrants to the competition conduct original research many times the participants have worked with leading research teams at universities, hospitals and private laboratories

InvenTeams - The program is designed to generate interest in science, technology, engineering, and math; empower students to problem solve; and encourage an inventive culture in schools and communities.

To compete, you must form a team with other high school students.  You work with teachers and mentors to invent technological solutions to real-world problems.

FIRST Robotics Competition- You work with adult mentors to build robots that can complete a task.

National Co-op Scholarship Program - To be eligible for the scholarship the applicant must apply and be admitted to one of the participating colleges. They encourage minority and female students and students interested in science, mathematics, engineering and technology to apply for this scholarship.

SAE Engineering Scholarships - For students interested in science, engineering and technology.

SanDisk Scholars Fund - This scholarship is for students with demonstrated leadership and/or entrepreneurial interests and an interest in a career in science, technology, engineering and mathematics.

Science, Mathematics And Research for Transformation (SMART) Scholarship - This full tuition scholarship in the sciences requires that the participate comit to employment with the Federal Government after graduation.

Shell Oil Company Technical Scholarship Program - The scholarship is offered to high school seniors who plan to major in one of the following fields: Geology, Geophysics, Physics, Chemical, civil, electrical, mechanical, petroleum, geological or geophysical engineering.

Siemens Competition in Math, Science & Technology - High school students can submit a science, math or technology project as a group (any grade) or as an individual (12th graders only).

Society of Women Engineers Scholarships - This scholarships is offered to young women who are interested in the science and engineering fields.

Stokes Educational Scholarship Program - This scholarship is designed to recruit individuals, particularly minority high school students, who are planning on majoring in Computer Science or Computer/Electrical Engineering. Those awarded the scholarship become National Security Agency (NSA) employees and will attend college full-time, but work during the summer at NSA for 12 weeks in areas related to their course of study.    

Toshiba/NSTA ExploraVision Awards Program - This scholarship encourages students from Kindergarten to 12th grade to explore a vision of future technology by combining their imaginations with the tools of science.

Xerox Technical Minority Scholarship Program - This scholarship is for academically talented minority students interested in technical areas such as engineering, material science computing, chemistry, physics and several other areas.

Young Naturalist Awards - This program is a research-based science competition for students in grades 7-12 to promote participation and communication in science.

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