Announcing our first essay contest

Believe it or not, the end of the school year is already on the horizon. Before then, we’re opening up an opportunity to hear from the students of the Ohio STEM Learning Network. Students, we want to hear your perspective: How do you see STEM at work in your life as a student?

To do that, we’re trying out something new. This year, for the first time, we’re piloting an essay contest for students at any of Ohio’s 30+ STEM schools. Read on for the full prompt.


Negative results are just what I want. They’re just as valuable to me as positive results. I can never find the thing that does the job best until I find the ones that don’t. – Thomas Edison

Our staff is based out of Battelle, a Columbus company devoted to science and innovation. There, we live by the design cycle. It’s how this company creates breakthroughs in paralysis treatmentdefense, and many other fields.

We know that “failures” are an opportunity to evaluate and refine our design on the path to innovation. Failures give us the opportunity to ask the difficult questions that drive our project forward. How did we miss the mark? What can we improve next time? Failure is part of the process, but only if we fail well.

Tell us how a “failure” became a stepping-stone to your success.

Submission information

Award information

  • High schoolers (around 500 words)
    • Essay published on
    • Personal profile and Q&A on
    • One “Guest Blogger” post to be published at the end of the school year
    • $300 cash reward
  • Middle schoolers (around 250 words)
    • Essay published on
    • Personal profile and Q&A on
    • Pizza party for their class and a visit from the Battelle Education team

For further questions, reach out to Sam Bodary at [email protected].

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