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Statement on the Importance of Participation of Scientists in K-12 Science Education

 
   
   
   

 

 



Nearly 6,000 essays were written for this year’s contest, and ASHG received entries from teachers in 43 U.S. states, as well as from Bangladesh, Canada, China, Greece, India, Italy, Lithuania, and Turkey. The topic of gene regulation engaged students in a crucial genetics topic and yielded many insightful and well-written essays. Over 300 expert geneticists from the ASHG membership participated in judging the essays. We thank them for their help.

 

Congratulations to the 2012 winners and thank you all for participating.  Happy DNA Day!

 

 

2012 Essay Question:

Genes exert their influence on organisms by being turned on and off in precise ways and at precise times. Disease can result when problems arise during this process of “gene regulation.” The first processes of gene regulation to be discovered involved molecular ‘switches’ that regulate transcription at gene promoters. In the last 20 years, genomic research has uncovered many new types of gene regulation that earlier researchers would have never imagined. Genes can be regulated by repressors, activators, enhancers, epigenetic changes to chromatin, RNA interference, the environment, and other processes. Choose one of the gene regulation processes listed above and, using references to support your argument, explain why/how that regulatory process is critically important to ONE of the following:

  • early development

  • normal cell function

  • causation of disease or cell malfunction

 

 

2012 Contest Winners:

Click names below to view essay excerpts.

 

 

Nathan Swetlitz

 

Grade 11 ($1,000)

 

Teacher:

Robert Taylor

 

Chicagoland Jewish High School, Deerfield, IL

 

Press Release

 

Kevin Zhang

 

Grade 12 ($600)

 

Teacher:

Maria Simon


Hatboro-Horsham High School, Horsham, PA

 

Press Release

 

Girish Chandrasekar

 

Grade 10 ($400)

 

Teacher:

Nicholas DiGiovanni

 

Naperville Central High School, Naperville, IL

 

Press Release



 

Vivienne Chen
Montgomery Blair High School, MD
Teacher: Angelique Bosse

 

 

Kristen Datta
St. Paul Academy and Summit School, MN
Teacher: Tina Barsky

 

 

Gabrielle Ewall
Cold Spring Harbor High School, NY
Teacher: Jaak Raudsepp

Emily Kragel
Junius H. Rose High School, NC
Teacher: Jedediah Smith
 

 

Jason Lam
Stuyvesant High School, NY
Teacher: Maria Nedwidek

 

 

Lindsay Leigler
Tesoro High School, CA
Teacher: Megan Gray
 

 

Lucy Li
St. Paul Academy and Summit School, MN
Teacher: Tina Barsky

Brian Lue
The John Cooper School, TX
Teacher: Holly Barlaam

 

 

Tejas Sundaresan
North Carolina School of Science and Mathematics, NC
Teacher: Myra Halpin
 

 

Monica Woolley
Punahou School, HI
Teacher: Marguerite Ashford

 

View DNA Day 2012 Essay Contest Entries in a full screen map

 

About the Contest

The contest aims to challenge students to examine, question, and reflect on important ideas and issues related to human genetics. Competitive essays are expected to convey substantive, well-reasoned, and evidence-based arguments that demonstrate deep understanding.

Essays are evaluated through three rounds of judging, and every essay is read by a minimum of two judges. Top-scoring essays have typically been scored by a dozen or more judges.
 

 

Questions/Comments: Contact dnaday@ashg.org
 

 

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