Timberland Middle School 8th grade student, Sonja Michaluk, was recently awarded first place in the 2016 DuPont Challenge Science Essay Competition – Junior Division. Her essay, “Because Salamanders Cannot Speak for Themselves,” was selected from more than 9,000 entries.As a first place winner, Sonja Michaluk will receive a $5,000 U.S. Savings Bond and her science teacher, Ms. Iannacone, Sonja Michaluk, and a parent will receive an all expenses-paid trip to the Walt Disney World Resort where they will be treated to a private luncheon and exclusive tour of the NASA-Kennedy Space Center. Also, Sonja and Timberlane will receive Britannica Digital Learning Resources as well as items from Carolina Biological Supply.
“I couldn’t be more proud of Sonja and her teacher, Ms. Iannacone,” said TMS Principal, Dr. Rosetta Treece. “Sonja’s passion for science is evident in everything she does. She is a wonderful role model for the young scientists of Hopewell Valley.”
The DuPont Challenge Program honors the memory of the heroes of the ill-fated 1986 Challenger space shuttle and all who work to encourage the next generation to explore the frontiers of science. The DuPont Challenge is North America’s premiere science essay competition, encouraging students to delve deep into their interests in science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) and express themselves with creativity and purpose. Essays must to be between 700 to 1,000 words in length, include a list of research sources, and fall under one of these four categories: 1) together, we can feed the world; 2) together, we can build a secure energy future; 3) together, we can protect people and the environment; or 4) together, we can be innovative anywhere.
“Science is about evoking change in the world around us,” said Hopewell Valley Regional School District Supervisor of Science and Math, Dr. Vicky Pilitsis. “We feel honored to have students and teachers in the community striving to be a part of this change.”