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Not your average essay

Two Seneca Valley Juniors received higher recognition than just a good grade on exceptional essays they wrote – they won awards. 

Nancy Chen and Maggie Monahan were recently awarded Honorable Mention for their entries in the Society of Analytical Chemists of Pittsburgh (SACP) High School Essay Contest. The students were also recognized with a $100 prize.

Each year, SACP hosts an essay contest that requires students to respond to a science-related prompt dealing with a current event. Schools in the Greater Pittsburgh area (39 Pennsylvania counties, 10 Ohio counties and 25 West Virginia counties) are permitted to submit no more than two student essays in the competition, and 13 prizes ranging from $100-$500 are awarded. 

Ms. Kelly Weston selected Miss Chen’s and Miss Monahan’s essays after they wrote about this year’s theme in 2500 words or less, explaining why increasing Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) courses in schools help students learn and understand how to solve many of the problems the United States and the world are currently facing.

“I am very proud to say that both of my students won Honorable Mention in the SACP High School Essay Contest,” said Seneca Valley Senior High School Advanced Placement Chemistry Teacher. “This is the second year in a row both of our submissions from Seneca Valley have won cash prizes. This essay was given as an option for one of their writing assignments in AP Chemistry. I really try to incorporate real-world problems and activities into my AP Chemistry class and am thankful to SACP for sponsoring this contest and everything they do for chemistry education.”

SACP winners

Pictured: Maggie Monahan and Nancy Chen