What questions, problems, ideas, innovations or discoveries in the fields of science, technology, engineering or math do you find most compelling? Why?

In January, we invited teenagers around the world to answer this question by writing an engaging 500-word explanation on the STEM-related topic of their choice. This week we announced the winners.

Here are the Top 10 essays:

Students, choose at least one of the essays above to read, and then tell us in the comments section:

  • Which piece did you choose? Why? What would you like to remember from what you read?

  • What, if anything, would you like to say to the author? For instance, you might post about what you admire or ask a question.

Next, we invite you to go further, and think about your own STEM-related interests:

  • If you were to participate in this contest, what question, problem, innovation or discovery would you want to investigate?

  • What draws you to this topic? What questions do you have about it? What about it excites or concerns you?

To help you think, you might explore the Science, Health and Technology sections, or consider these questions:

How do you feel about the revolution in artificial intelligence? Are you intrigued by — or concerned about — chatbots, deepfakes or instant videos?

How much do you follow climate and environmental news? Are you excited about the possibilities for electric cars or improved recycling programs? Are you worried about the effects of climate change, whether on the shrinking Colorado River, the sport of surfing or the bats in Melbourne?

Maybe you keep up with health “news you can use” to improve your own life, or the lives of those you care about. For instance, would you click on an article about the relationship between exercise and sleep, or one about how to tell if your symptoms are from a cold or allergies? Or, maybe you are interested in the health implications of stories in the news, like the crisis in adolescent mental health, the recent ruling on the abortion pill mifepristone or states’ moves to ban transgender health care.

Or, perhaps a good headline is all it takes to make you curious, in which case you might have clicked on “It’s Not a Stretch: This Dinosaur Had a 50-Foot Neck,” “This Is What It Sounds Like When Plants Cry,” or “How the Artemis II Astronauts Will Get to the Moon.”

Whatever has caught your attention lately, tell us about it.

Students 13 and older in the United States and Britain, and 16 and older elsewhere, are invited to comment. All comments are moderated by the Learning Network staff, but please keep in mind that once your comment is accepted, it will be made public and may appear in print.

Find more Student Opinion questions here. Teachers, check out this guide to learn how you can incorporate these prompts into your classroom.


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