Listed below are some guidelines for the essay contest. Be sure
to follow them as closely as possible so your essay will be eligible
for the contest.
Essays will be
judged by a panel of English and STEM professors from the
College of Southern Maryland. Content, grammar, and presentation
will play an important factor in the judging process.
become property of the College of Southern Maryland upon submission.
Friendly version (requires PDF).
STEM is an acronym for Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics.
is eligible to enter the essay contest?
contest is open to young women in high school (ages 13 thru 21) in the
2010-11 academic year.
is the essay topic?
For your essay,
interview a woman currently working in a STEM career field and
write about her and her job. The essay must be in
narrative form and address a general audience, similar to an
article in a magazine. The essay should not use an
interview or "transcript" format.
Who should I interview?
- You may interview and
write about any woman currently working in a STEM field.
- You are encouraged (but
not required) to seek out an interviewee that you do not already
Here are some
suggestions for finding possible women to interview:
- Contact a female
teacher or professor teaching STEM courses. Please do not
interview an instructor at the College of Southern Maryland.
Most colleges and universities have websites that list their
faculty by department and include their email address and phone
- Contact the public relations
department of government agencies or private companies that are
primarily involved in STEM fields. They may be able
to direct you to a few women in their organization that would be
willing to do an interview. Examples: NASA, Lockheed Martin,
Census Bureau, Naval Surface Warfare Center - Indian Head
should I ask in my interview?
are some suggested topics for the interview:
- her motivation for
pursuing her chosen career in STEM
- her educational
- some specific
day-to-day activities regarding her career
- how her family and
cultural background affected her career path
- what advice she would
offer to students who are interested in pursuing a career similar
If possible, do
the interview either in person or on the phone -- avoid email
interviews since clarification and follow-up questions are difficult to
do in that format.
Remember to be
professional and respectful!
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should be the length of my essay?
The essay should
be approximately 500 to 800 words and no longer than 1000
do I need to submit?
In addition to
the essay, you need to complete the checklist, submit the entry form and
photo release form, as well as include a short biography (100 to 150
words, no longer than 200 words).
should I submit my essay?
- By U.S. MAIL,
send the essay packet to the address below:
College of Southern Maryland
Department of Mathematics, Physics, and Engineering
La Plata, MD 20646
POSTMARKED BY (and no later than) APRIL 8, 2011.
is the deadline?
The deadline is
April 8, 2011. If submitting by U.S. Mail, the package must be postmarked
by (and no later than) April 8, 2011. All packets must be
submitted by either U.S. Mail or email.
can I contact if I have questions?
contact Sandra Poinsett, or Stephanie McCaslin (information listed
below). Please note that Ms. Poinsett, and Ms. McCaslin will
not be on the essay evaluation committee that chooses the winning