DNA Day Essay Contest

Ages:High School

Type:Submission

Categories:Biology, Language Arts, STEM

Scope:International

January 7, 2019 Registration Opens

March 8, 2019 Registration Closes

National DNA Day commemorates the completion of the Human Genome Project in April 2003 and the discovery of the double helix of DNA in 1953. Teachers and students around the world are encouraged to celebrate by participating in the American Society of Human Genetics' (ASHG) annual DNA Day Essay Contest! The question each year aims to cover a current topic in genetics that may not be covered in biology class. Students are encouraged to work with their science and language arts teachers. Essays should be 750 words maximum. Winners and honorable mentions are announced on DNA Day, April 25, 2019. This contest is open to students in grades 9-12 worldwide and asks students to examine, question, and reflect on important concepts in genetics. Essays are expected to be well-reasoned arguments indicative of a depth of understanding of the concepts related to the essay question.

Write an essay up to 750 words responding to an annual topic within the theme of human genetics.

2019 Question

Jonathan, age 50, has just been diagnosed with Huntington’s disease (HD). His genetic counselor, Karen, seeks Jonathan’s consent to disclose this diagnosis to his daughter, Sarah, who is 25. Jonathan refuses to allow Karen or anyone else on the medical staff to reveal this diagnosis to Sarah. (1) Present arguments for and against Jonathan's position by discussing the relevant goals, rights, and duties of each of the parties in this case. (2) Then choose one argument to defend, using your knowledge of the scientific and medical aspects of HD. This reading includes explanations of these three categories involved in making a difficult decision. Be certain to use your knowledge of the scientific and medical aspects of HD to support your views.

Essays are evaluated by ASHG members through three rounds of scoring.
  • Essays must be the product of an individual student's work; group submissions are not permitted.
  • All essays must be written in English and are limited to 750 words. Word count includes in-text citations, but does not include reference lists.
  • Essay titles are optional and will be counted towards the word limit.
  • Word count is best determined by Microsoft Word's count. The submission page will give an official word count when submitters enter the essay.
  • Essays should not include a student's name.
  • 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 citations. There is no restriction on how many references students may use. However, please keep in mind that students should avoid having too many references, as we want to know the student's opinion on the question and not the opinion of the student's sources.
  • Quality of references will be considered by judges when scoring.
    • Low quality sources = Wikipedia.
    • High quality sources = Research journals (for example, from PubMed)
This competition has not yet listed it's awards.

Website: http://www.ashg.org/education/dnaday.shtml

Managing Organization: American Society of Human Genetics

Contact:
Evelyn Mantegani
emantegani@ashg.org
301-634-7351

Entry Fee: $0

This competition is open to students in High School.

January 7, 2019 Registration Opens

March 8, 2019 Registration Closes

Overview

National DNA Day commemorates the completion of the Human Genome Project in April 2003 and the discovery of the double helix of DNA in 1953. Teachers and students around the world are encouraged to celebrate by participating in the American Society of Human Genetics' (ASHG) annual DNA Day Essay Contest! The question each year aims to cover a current topic in genetics that may not be covered in biology class. Students are encouraged to work with their science and language arts teachers. Essays should be 750 words maximum. Winners and honorable mentions are announced on DNA Day, April 25, 2019. This contest is open to students in grades 9-12 worldwide and asks students to examine, question, and reflect on important concepts in genetics. Essays are expected to be well-reasoned arguments indicative of a depth of understanding of the concepts related to the essay question.

Process

Write an essay up to 750 words responding to an annual topic within the theme of human genetics.

2019 Question

Jonathan, age 50, has just been diagnosed with Huntington’s disease (HD). His genetic counselor, Karen, seeks Jonathan’s consent to disclose this diagnosis to his daughter, Sarah, who is 25. Jonathan refuses to allow Karen or anyone else on the medical staff to reveal this diagnosis to Sarah. (1) Present arguments for and against Jonathan's position by discussing the relevant goals, rights, and duties of each of the parties in this case. (2) Then choose one argument to defend, using your knowledge of the scientific and medical aspects of HD. This reading includes explanations of these three categories involved in making a difficult decision. Be certain to use your knowledge of the scientific and medical aspects of HD to support your views.

Criteria

Essays are evaluated by ASHG members through three rounds of scoring.
  • Essays must be the product of an individual student's work; group submissions are not permitted.
  • All essays must be written in English and are limited to 750 words. Word count includes in-text citations, but does not include reference lists.
  • Essay titles are optional and will be counted towards the word limit.
  • Word count is best determined by Microsoft Word's count. The submission page will give an official word count when submitters enter the essay.
  • Essays should not include a student's name.
  • 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 citations. There is no restriction on how many references students may use. However, please keep in mind that students should avoid having too many references, as we want to know the student's opinion on the question and not the opinion of the student's sources.
  • Quality of references will be considered by judges when scoring.
    • Low quality sources = Wikipedia.
    • High quality sources = Research journals (for example, from PubMed)

Awards

This competition has not yet listed it's awards.

Participate

Website: http://www.ashg.org/education/dnaday.shtml

Managing Organization: American Society of Human Genetics

Contact:
Evelyn Mantegani
emantegani@ashg.org
301-634-7351

Entry Fee: $0

This competition is open to students in High School.

Deadlines

January 7, 2019 Registration Opens

March 8, 2019 Registration Closes