student achieves runners up prize in national competition

Friday October 12, 2018

A Sixth Form student was recently awarded second place in a national essay writing competition. Earn from 6.2 was runner-up in the Newnham College Biological Sciences Essay competition – an annual competition aimed at female students in Year 12 across the UK. Dr Sam Lucy, Newnham Admissions Tutor, said: “Newnham’s Essay Prize Competitions offer talented Year 12 female students the opportunity to explore their academic interests in more depth, and from a different angle, than is often available through school.” The competition is also designed to help students prepare for university-style short essay writing, so is limited to 2500 words. Earn said she ‘utilised the word count’ and her essay finished on exactly 2499 words. “There were 3 questions to pick from for the essay and I picked ‘What do you believe is the greatest milestone in the history of molecular biology ever since the discovery of the double helix?’ “I felt it was the most interesting topic – I wanted a controversial question, one where a final conclusion has yet to be made. “I argued in favour of the central dogma – and funnily enough, both discoveries (in the question and my chosen topic) were by Francis Crick.” Concord’s Head of Biology, Mrs Nathalie Ross said: “The Biology essay is one of the most popular Newnham College essay competitions – in fact, 130 entries were made this year, so this represents a significant achievement for Earn.” Following the competition, Earn was invited to a prize-giving ceremony at Newnham College, Cambridge in June, and was awarded certification for her second-place essay as well as a cash prize. Dr Lucy said: “This year’s winners and runners-up should be very proud of their achievement in an extremely competitive field.” “It is hoped that exposing the high-flying sixth-formers to the type of work they would be expected to do at Cambridge will encourage them to consider applying.” Reflecting on her success, Earn said: “The experience was definitely worth the work and many hours of research, reading and editing – I really tried engaging with the content. “Throughout the process, I had a lot of joy reading the hypotheses and work being conducted by today’s cutting-edge researchers. “I especially liked reading primary sources and getting to know their personal insights. I hope this experience can help guide my research and writing skills further in preparation for university.” Mrs Ross added: “The skills highlighted in the competition are highly sought by the most competitive universities, so Earn’s work provides strong evidence for these, which will aid her applications.”