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Steven Fontanella

DuPont Challenge Science Essay Questions

1. The DuPont Challenge asks students to research and write a 700-1000 word
essay in our of four categories: Together, We Can Feed the World, Together,
We Can Build a Secure Energy Future, Together, We Can Protect People and
then Environment, and Together, We Can Be Innovative Anywhere. Read
about each of the four categories and answer the following questions for each
topic. Be sure to label the topic and answer the question for EACH topic.
a. What is the main focus of the topic?
b. What is DuPont doing in this category to address these global issues?
c. Look at the YouTube videos and give two example of questions (other
than those listed on the website) that could spark your research.
Together, We Can Feed the World
a. The main focus of this topic is helping to make food available to
everyone on the planet by developing new agricultural technologies
and techniques to increase efficiency and thus providing more food to
everyone else.
b. DuPont itself dedicates 60% of its research and development dollars to
feeding the world by advancing the nutritional value of crops,
increasing productivity and ensuring food safety.
c. How can we distribute our food equally amongst ourselves?
What are alternative ways of feeding our population?
Together, We Can Build a Secure Energy Future
a. The main focus of this topic involves ensuring that we meet our energy
demands globally as fossil fuels start to run out, either by using our
current resources more efficiently or finding new resources.
b. DuPont uses its scientific resources to improve fuel efficiency in
aircraft, reducing vehicle weight, finding sustainable energy sources,
among others.
c. How can we make fossil fuels more efficient?
How can we standardize the use of renewable energy sources?
Together, We Can Protect People and the Environment
a. This topic involves keeping our eco-system, as well as ourselves safe in
a growing world that demands more and more of its environment.
b. DuPont collaborates with various other organizations, including entire
governments, to ensure that they both are doing no harm to the
environment and also improving other peoples lives, like protection for
c. How do we reduce our need for natural resources?

Together, We Can Be Innovative Anywhere

Steven Fontanella
a. By being innovative, we can make the world a better place. Scientific
research can be used to solve diverse issues from the medical field to
b. DuPont addresses innovation by raising awareness in what we can do
to help the world through scientific progress and innovation. This essay
is one way of doing so.
c. How do we grow new innovators?
How do we use innovation to solve our global problems?
2. DuPont stresses that this writing must be an essay and NOT a report. How
does DuPont describe the difference between an essay and a report?
DuPont defines a report as a text that provides factual information to the
reader without bias. An essay, on the other hand is written to show what the
writer has learned about a specific subject. DuPont says that the writer lets
his or her personality come through in an essay.
3. Summarize the four (4) points DuPont suggest considering before writing your
Consider the point, or thesis, of your essay and stick to it throughout your
essay. The essay must either convince (persuade) or explain (expose).
Make sure that your subject and essay apply to the real world. The reader
will want to know why your subject is important and how it applies to them.
Write multiple drafts and revise them every time.
Get proofing help from others and double check your sources and evidence
with a teacher. Use any help available.
4. What sources does DuPont list as being reputable research sources?
DuPont suggests that most *.gov and *.edu websites, including your countrys
national organization of the branch of science that you are researching. It
adds that Online encyclopedias can be dependable.
5. What sources should not be used in a scientific essay?
DuPont advises caution when dealing with information from blogs or posts
from individuals, especially when they arent in a position to show their
qualifications and it states explicitly not to use information from any site that
is trying to sell you something.
6. How many sources does DuPont suggest should be used to verify
DuPont says that in general, any fact used in the essay should be verifiable
by at least two or three sources.
7. What advice does DuPont give about writing style for your science essay?

Steven Fontanella
DuPont advises that, while the essay must be written formally, it is important
to show your own personality and enthusiasm for your topic by using some
humor as well as literary devices like simile. It suggests using quotations from
experts as well.

8. What are the six (6) ideas DuPont lists as possible hooks for your essay?
Possible hooks include; An anecdote from the writer, a surprising bit of
information, an interesting fact, an exciting quotation, a provocative question
or setting a scene in the readers mind.
9. What is the purpose of the introduction in your essay?
The purpose of the introduction, as defined by DuPont is to grab the attention
of the reader while giving background on the topic of the essay.
10.What should you avoid when writing an Introduction?
Writers should avoid writing long introductions that only serve to bore the
reader. The introduction should be concise and it should lead to the thesis of
the essay.
11.What is the purpose of the conclusion?
The conclusion ends the essay while still leaving an interest in the mind of
the reader. It eases the reader out of the end of the essay so that it does not
feel abrupt, as well as keeping your ideas in the readers mind after he is
finished reading.
12.What are the six (6) ways you can leave a memorable impression in your
By asking a thought-provoking question
By describing a powerful image that resonates with the reader
By talking about the consequences or implications of your research
By stating what action needs to be done about your research
By ending on an interesting twist or thought
By explaining why the topic is important to you as well as the global

13.What should you avoid when writing a conclusion?

Steven Fontanella
You should not introduce new idea in the conclusion and should instead
summarize what youve said while leaving something for the reader to think

14.Watch the Tips for success video. Dr. Pinto has her students submit three
ideas and she chooses one for them. How does she choose from their three
Dr. Pinto chooses an idea that is interesting as well as unconventional.
15.What advice does Dr. Pinto give for writing a successful essay?
Be prepared to write several drafts and cross-check sources to ensure that
they back up what you are trying to prove in your essay.

16.Read the two excerpts from the 2012 first place winners. For each essay,
answer the following questions.
a. What about the title attracts the readers attention?
b. What was the essay about?
c. Why would DuPont consider this an essay and not a report?
d. What (in your opinion) makes this a winning essay?
e. Explain the format used for parenthetical citations
Excellent, Efficient, and Economical Solar Tracking
a. The title is descriptive and summarizes the content of the essay well. It
is not misleading and it grabs attention.
b. The essay is about finding a cost-effective way to make solar panels
track the sun to increase the efficiency of them. The writer has created
a new way of tracking the sun that is much simpler and less costly
than existing methods.
c. It is an essay because it talks about personal experiences and how the
writer created his invention.
d. This is a winning essay because it shows interest on the writers part in
creating his own invention to go along with the essay. Rather than
reporting someone elses invention, he created his own and that adds
passion to his essay.
e. There are no citations in the excerpt.
Flavonoids: The Avengers of Rice Bacterial Blight
a. The title is very imaginative and it grabs the attention of the reader. It
sounds like an interesting essay based on the title.
b. This essay is about rice and its enemy: Xanthomonas oryzae pv.
Oryzae. The writer talks about the danger of the plant to rice and how
it affects our environment.

Steven Fontanella
c. The essay uses creative description to make it more interesting as well
as showing an interest on the part of the writer.
d. The writer talks about a new solution to help feed billions by
countering the dangerous rice killer through the potential of
flavonoids, which may be able to save millions of tons of race,
allowing more of these pure grains to reach the mouth of billions.
e. The writer refers to his source in parentheses followed by a year after
the applicable information.

17.Read the Rules section and answer the following questions.

a. What is the required length of the essay?
700-1000 words
b. What are the eight (8) pieces of information that must NOT be written
on the body of the essay?
Name, School name, Address, Phone number, E-mail, Teacher name,
Website, IP Address
c. Where must the word count be included in the essay?
The word count will be at the end of the essay.
d. What bibliography style is used for the essay?
MLA is used.
18.Read the FAQs and answer the following questions.
a. What is the deadline for essay submission?
January 31, 2014.
b. What are the most common reasons for essays being disqualified?
Personal Information in the body of the essay.
Word count not included.
No clear connection to science or technology
Below 700 words or above 1000 words
Incorrect grammar and mechanics