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Call for Submissions: American Society of Human Genetics 9th Annual DNA Day Essay Contest
The American Society of Human Genetics (ASHG) invites you to participate in the 9th Annual DNA Day Essay Contest! The contest is open to students in grades 9-12.
The contest aims to challenge students to examine, question, and reflect on important concepts in genetics. Essays are expected to contain substantive, well-reasoned arguments indicative of a depth of understanding of the concepts related to the essay question. Essays are read and evaluated by several independent judges through three rounds of scoring.
1st Place Winner: $1,000 + $1,000 genetics materials grant for teacher
2nd Place Winner: $600 + $600 genetics materials grant for teacher
3rd Place Winner: $400 + $400 genetics materials grant for teacher
Honorable Mention: 10 prizes of $100 each.
Complex traits, such as blood pressure, height, cardiovascular disease, or autism, are the combined result of multiple genes and the environment. For ONE complex human trait of your choosing, identify and explain the contributions of at least one genetic factor AND one environmental factor. How does this interplay lead to a phenotype? Keep in mind that the environment may include nutrition, psychological elements, and other non-genetic factors. If the molecular or biological basis of the interaction between the genetic and environmental factors is known, be sure to discuss it. If not, discuss the gaps in our knowledge of how those factors influence your chosen trait.
Essays are due at 5:00 pm EST, March 14, 2014.
Essay Contest Rules
1. Essays will be accepted from high school students (grades 9-12) in the US and internationally. A teacher or administrator must submit the essay and authenticate that the submission is the original work of the student. Parents may submit the essays of home-schooled students only. Only one entry may be submitted for each student.
2. All essays must be written in English and are limited to 750 words, including in-text citations. Essay titles are optional and will be counted towards the word limit. Reference lists do not count toward the 750 word limit.
3. Each teacher may only submit six student essays per class, for up to three classes.
4. Essays must be submitted electronically through the ASHG submission site no later than 5:00 pm EST on March 14, 2014. Essays mailed, faxed, or emailed to the Society will NOT be accepted. Once submitted, essays cannot be changed or revised.
5. The text of student essays must be original prose unless quotations are explicitly noted. Plagiarism will not be tolerated. Essays found to contain the uncited work of others will be disqualified, and the student’s teacher will be notified.
6. Essays must include at least one reference. References must be clearly documented with both in-text citations and in the references list (the reference list should be separately entered into the “References” section of the submission page). Students may use either APA or MLA style for citing references. There is no restriction on how many references students may use. Quality of references will be considered by judges when scoring. General references such as Wikipedia are considered low-quality, whereas primary literature from research journals (see http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/) is considered high-quality.
7. Only classroom teachers are eligible for the equipment grant. Teachers of first-place winners from 2011, 2012, and 2013 are not eligible for equipment grants in 2014.
Please note that text from essays may be used for research purposes to identify misconceptions, misunderstandings, and areas of student interest in genetics. Student text may be published on the ASHG Web site, newsletter or in other ASHG-supported publications.