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Opportunity X 2022 STEMist Essay Contest

STEMist Essay Contest.jpg

We are announcing the inaugural Opportunity X STEMist Essay Contest! 



Students will select a scientist, engineer, mathematician, technologist or researcher who belongs to an underrepresented group in STEM. They will learn about the journey of the scientist by reading their stories, challenges, and contributions and will then write a 300-500 word essay on their story. The students should also include how the experiences of their chosen scientist are inspiring to them. Top submissions will receive up to $100 in gift card.




  1. The essay must include sufficient background information about the scientist, including details about what underrepresented group the scientist belongs to, work done by the scientist, and challenges faced by the scientist.

  2. The essay must be within the word limit of 300-500 words.

  3. The essay can be completed in groups of up to 3.

  4. Possible underrepresented groups in STEM are women, minorities, people of color, people with disabilities, and people from low-income communities.

  5. Participants must be grades 4-8.

  6. The deadline for submission is Dec 22, 2021.

STEMist List
You can either choose your own STEMlist or pick one from the 65 STEMlists we compiled. 

1x 1st place: $100

3x 2nd place: $50

3x 3rd place: $30




First Place Winner

Mo Pham, 7th grader from Wheelers Hill Secondary College, Melbourne, Australia


Second Place Winners

Luna Hernández Gonzalez, 6th grader from Castillero Middle School, San Jose, USA

Benjamin Speck, 8th grader from River Glen Middle School, San Jose, USA 

Tahsin Arda Günay, 8th grader from Buca Municipality Kızılçullu Science and Art Center, Buca, Turkey 


Third Place Winners

Nihira Rachapudi, 4th grader from Delaine Eastin Elementary, Union City, USA

Asya Eroğlu and Poyraz Eroğlu, 4th grader from Buca Municipality Kızılçullu Science and Art Center, Buca, Turkey

Connor Benin, 8th grader from Itliong Vera Cruz Middle School, Union City, USA 




Brigid Miller


Mike Pistacchi


Dr. Bune Bloomquist

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Dr. Miriam Allersma


Kerry Enzensperger


Dr. Pauline Paskali


Lisa Mata


Tia Barth


Dr. Lizzie Hager-Bernard


Tong Jiang

Judging Criteria

Research on Scientist (10 points)

  • Was sufficient background information included?

  • Are trusted sources used?

  • How detailed was the information?


Inspiration/Impact (10 points)

  • Did the student include how they felt inspired?

  • Did the student include details on how being underrepresented impacted the scientist?

  • Was the student creative in their response?


Writing (10 points)

  • Was the essay well written?

  • Was correct grammar, spelling, and syntax used?

  • Did the essay flow?

  • Was the essay easy to understand?


Total: 30 points

Contact us with any questions at!

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