Essay Contest

Enter the 2020 Annual Essay Contest!

This year we are celebrating Beethoven and German inventors! The contest is open to students from Grades 3 – 12 and the deadline for entries is March 31, 2020. Students must choose and write about about one of the following topics. Detailed rules and information about submission guidelines can be found below.

Good luck!

Topic A: Beethoven

This year Germany is celebrating the 250th anniversary of the birthday of world-renowned composer and pianist Ludwig van Beethoven. His musical compositions are some of the most played pieces on the planet. In his era Beethoven was a star and his modern compositions were some of the most sought after pieces of his day. If there had been rock stars, Beethoven would have been one.

Do you see any similarities or connections between the music of Beethoven and today’s music? Can you think of any musicians today that may be the modern equivalent of Beethoven? Who will we be talking about in 250 years and why?

Topic B: German Inventors

Germany is known for being the home to many inventions, from the bicycle to aspirin to contact lenses and beyond. However, often people can name the invention, but not the person or team responsible for it. Now it is time for the person/ team behind the invention to shine!

Who do you think is one of the most important or greatest German inventors? Why? What is it about them and their invention(s) that put them at the top of your list? How did their invention change the world around them?

GENERAL GUIDELINES

Essays must be in English.

300 words or fewer for Grades 3-5; 500 words or fewer for Grades 6-12. (Note: more does not mean better! Focus on quality, not quantity.)

Students may only submit 1 entry per person.

Deadline for entry: March 31, 20120.

Email your essay to Jennifer Clardy Chalmers (dz-12[at]wash.diplo.de). Entry must include the author’s name, grade level, school name and school address at the beginning of the essay.

NATIONAL PRIZES

Amazon.com gift e-certificates will be awarded to the national 1st place winners in each age group.

1st Place – Grades 3-5: $100 gift certificate

1st Place – Grades 6-8: $150 gift certficate

1st Place – Grades 9-12: $200 gift certficate

For Teachers/ Advisors of 1st Place winners: $200 gift certificate

In addition, 10 Honorable Mentions will receive prize packages from the German Embassy Washington.

PRIZES FOR CLASSROOM CONTESTS

For teachers who wish to hold the contest within your classroom and award a prize, additional Amazon e-certificates in the amount of $25 will be issued to 1st Place classroom winners. Teachers must send the German Embassy Washington the winning essay and the number of students who participated. Should teachers wish to enter all of the classroom participants in the national contest, you may send all of the student entries in addition to the winning entry.

The complete rules and information, including how to submit entries, can be found below. The inbox is ready for your submission – good luck!

 

COMPLETE RULES AND INFORMATION

ABOUT THE CONTEST

The German Information Center USA fulfills the public diplomacy mission of the German Embassy in Washington, D.C. To encourage American students to get to know modern Germany, the German Information Center USA provides classroom materials to educators in the United States.

The purpose of the essay contest is to familiarize students with today’s Germany. In addition, the contest offers students and their teachers an opportunity to discuss traditional and modern German culture, language and society.

Detailed contest information such as rules, deadlines and the essay questions can be found below.

All entries must be submitted electronically by March 31, 2020.

There will be three grade groupings for the contest: Grades 3-5, Grades 6-8, and Grades 9-12. Winners will receive prizes and certificates; their essays will appear on this website (www.germanyinusa.com), as well as the German Embassy’s newsletters and associated social media channels.

GUIDELINES

Students must write about the following topics:

Topic A: Beethoven
This year Germany is celebrating the 250th anniversary of the birthday of world-renowned composer and pianist Ludwig van Beethoven. His musical compositions are some of the most played pieces on the planet. In his era Beethoven was a star and his modern compositions were some of the most sought after pieces of his day. If there had been rock stars, Beethoven would have been one.
Do you see any similarities or connections between the music of Beethoven and today’s music? Can you think of any musicians today that may be the modern day equivalent of Beethoven? Who will we be talking about in 250 years and why?
Topic B: German Inventors
Germany is known for being home to many inventions, from the bicycle to aspirin to contact lenses and beyond. However often people can name the invention, but not the person or team responsible for it. Now it is time for the person/ team behind the invention to shine! 
Who do you think is one of the most important or greatest German inventors? Why? What is it about them and their invention(s) that put them at the top of your list? How did their invention change the world around them?

Essays must be in English.

300 words or fewer for Grades 3-5; 500 words for Grades 6-12. (Note: More does not mean better! Focus on quality, not quantity.)

Students may submit only one essay per person.

Submit entries as .doc (Microsoft Word), .pdf (Adobe Acrobat), .odt (OpenOffice), scanned-in graphic files (jpg, etc.) or .txt (Simple Text) files only.

Email your essay to Jennifer Clardy Chalmers (dz-12[at]wash.diplo.de). Entry must include the author’s name, grade level, school name and school address at the beginning of the essay.

Please note: due to the high number of entries, it is not possible to send out an email confirmation for every entry. Should you wish to inquire about whether or not your entry was received, send a separate email to the entry address.

RULES

All students enrolled in 3rd through 12th grade in the U.S.A. are eligible. Seniors graduating in 2020 are eligible. Students enrolled in DoDDS schools or schools in American overseas territories with APO mailing addresses are eligible. Homeschooled students are also eligible.

Each essay must be the sole work of the author.

Entries may be submitted by individual writers or by their teachers.

Entries must include the name of the student & teacher/advisor, the grade level of student, the email address of student & teacher, and a postal address for the student & teacher. This information enables the German Embassy to quickly award prizes and prize packages. No personal or contact information will be handed over to a third party.

Only electronically submitted essays will be accepted.

Entries must be 300 words or fewer for elementary students; 500 words or less for middle and high school students.

Submitted entries will become the property of the German Embassy Washington; they may appear online or in print in associated publications.

The decision of the panel of judges from German Embassy Washington is final.

Students are encouraged to review spelling, grammar and punctuation.

DEADLINE for entries is March 31, 2020. Winners will be notified by May 1, 2020.

CRITERIA FOR JUDGING

Winners will be determined by a panel of judges from the German Embassy Washington. Entries will be judged based on their content, style and grammar.

Successful entries will:

Follow the guidelines.

Show that student has done research on her/his subject.

Include the author’s own opinions.

Demonstrate superb critical and creative thinking.

PRIZES

Bookstore gift certificates in the form of Amazon.com gift e-certificates will be awarded to the national 1st place winners in each age group.

1st place – grades 3 – 5: $100 bookstore gift certificate

1st place – grades 6 – 8: $150 bookstore gift certificate

1st place – grades 9 – 12: $200 bookstore gift certificate

For Teachers or Advisors of 1st place winners:

$200 bookstore gift certificate for classroom resources

In addition, 10 runners-up will receive a package from the German Embassy Washington.

Should teachers wish to hold the contest within your classroom and award a prize, additional Amazon.com e-certificates in the amount of $25 will be issued for the 1st place students. You must send the Germany Embassy Washington the winning essay and the number of students who participated. Should you wish to enter all student entries into the national contest, you may send all student entries in addition to the winning entry to the German Embassy Washington.

Good luck!