High-School Essay Contest

1204 Whiskey Rd, Suite B
Aiken, SC 29803-4318
(803) 649-3456

2017 CNTA Essay Scholarship

Citizens for Nuclear Technology Awareness Essay Contest

The Winners!

Four area high school seniors each earned a $1,000 cash prize in the 2017 CNTA High School Essay Contest. Citizens for Nuclear Technology Awareness (CNTA), an Aiken-based nuclear education organization, recently announced the winners of its 11th annual writing contest

Their winning essays are linked below in Portable Document Format (PDF), with authors alphabetical by surname. Please use your browser's "back" button to return to this page.

Jared DeMass


Jared DeMass - Aiken High School

"Dealing with the Risks of Radioactive Waste: "Should It Stay or Should It Go"

Max DiPrete


Maxwell DiPrete - Greenbrier High School

"Nuclear Power Plant Closures: A Crisis in America"

Justin McCorkle


Justin McCorkle - Greenbrier High School

"Storage of Radiological Waste and the Inherent Risks"

Steven Poore


Steven Poore - Silver Bluff High School

"U.S. Depends on Foreign Supply of Life-Saving Medicine"

In addition to the $1,000 prize, the winners' schools will each receive $500 for classroom supplies and equipment.

Jim Marra, CNTA Executive Director, said the quality of the nuclear-themed essays this year is promising.

"The submissions to this year's contest demonstrated that the students are knowledgeable, passionate, and astute about nuclear technology," Marra said. "It's a growing industry, not only in our area, but worldwide. I am hopeful that this will provide a spark to the students to pursue a career in the nuclear field."

Each student picked one of three topics for this year's contest: the importance of nuclear isotopes in medicine and the U.S. dependence on foreign supply; the effect of nuclear plant closures on the stability of the electric grid, the surrounding economy, and greenhouse gas emissions; and the risks of on-site radioactive waste storage at generator facilities vs. the risks associated with transporting radioactive material to long-term storage facilities or repositories.

The contest was open to high school juniors or seniors in Aiken, Allendale, and Barnwell counties in South Carolina, and Burke, Columbia, and Richmond counties in Georgia; homeschool students; and students of CNTA member famillies. The winners, their families, and a teacher of the winner's choice will be honored at the upcoming Teller Lecture and Banquet to be held during Nuclear Science Week, October 16-20, 2017.


CNTA is an Aiken-based charitable educational organization dedicated to providing factual information about nuclear topics and educating the public on nuclear issues. The annual essay contest is one of many educational projects sponsored by CNTA that include the annual Teller Lecture and Banquet, monthly Up & Atom breakfasts, an interactive nucleus exhibit at the Ruth Patrick Science Education Center, a speaker's bureau, and periodic teachers' workshops that assist middle and high school teachers in bringing nuclear science topics into the classroom.


Current junior and senior high school students in these counties, and current CNTA members' family regardless of their county of enrollment, were invited to submit a 1,000-1,500 word essay on one of the following topics:

The effort involves researching a topic and preparing an essay on the subject. CNTA has books and other reference materials that may be of help to student applicants.

The competition is judged by the Citizens for Nuclear Technology Awareness staff and representatives from the general membership.



Dates and Requirements

February 28, 2017: Deadline date for essay submittal. The essay submittal must include a completed Official Student Entry Form. Electronic submittal is preferred.

Electronic Submittal:

or Mail To: CNTA - Attention: Dr. Marissa Reigel - 1204 Whiskey Rd, Suite B, Aiken SC 29803-4318

March-April 2017: Notification of CNTA essay winner(s).

October 2017: Edward Teller Lecture/Banquet.

Visit the 2016 Essay Contest Page
Visit the 2015 Essay Contest Page
Visit the 2014 Essay Contest Page
Visit the 2013 Essay Contest Page
Visit the 2012 Essay Contest Page
Visit the 2011 Essay Contest Page
Visit the 2010 Essay Contest Page

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