Regular readers of ScienceThrillers know that I have a special interest in science education. Related to that, I’m also a big believer in getting kids out into nature. I’m a fan of Richard Louv’s Last Child in the Woods, a book which coined the term nature-deficit disorder, and I’ve coached “Nature Bowl” teams for 3rd-5th graders three times.
On that note, I want to spread the word about a writing contest I heard about (no, not my ScienceThrillers Creative Science Writing Contest, but check that out too). This contest is for teens only, and the theme is “How has nature inspired you?”
- Submit an essay, 300-500 words, on the theme “How has nature inspired you?”
- Open to teens and college students
- Deadline: June 30th
- No entry fee
- The winning essay will receive a spot as a Featured Writer on StageofLife.com, a Stage of Life SWAG package, and a $30 Gift Card from Fibers.com (T-shirt company)
Here are ideas from the StagesOfLife website to get you thinking:
- A colorful memory from your childhood involving the outdoors
- Traditions that take you and your family outside into nature, and how that has shaped who you are
- Your own social commentary on how you think today’s teens connect (or not) with nature
- Information about your favorite conservation effort
- A passionate story about an outdoor based hobby like surfing or gardening? How does that activity fuel you?
- Thoughts about Anthropocene (recently covered in National Geo and TIME). Once a certain tipping point occurs, will man need to create his own nature since the real thing will be gone (and thus no longer needed to be protected)? Can man play God and create nature?
- A review of a Transcendentalist like Thoreau. How do famous lines like “I went to the woods because I wished to live deliberately, to front only the essential facts of life…I wanted to live deep and suck out all the marrow of life,” apply today?
- Or…an essay about how all of this nature talk is maybe overdone. Are people making a fuss about nature over nothing?
“So tell us…are today’s teens nature-deficit? Is nature still relevant? Do we need to go outside? Why?”
Write your essay–and then go outside!