The Contest

In CNTA’s annual essay contest, area high schoolers have a chance to win up to $1,000. Continuing in 2022, we are having two tiers of winners. Second tier winners will receive $500 each. All winners are recognized in news releases and at a Spring CNTA event.

Over the course of the Essay Contest program, CNTA has awarded over $65,000 to deserving students. 

Application Process

The 2023 High School Essay Contest Information will be available HERE mid-October. 

The 2022 Application Packet is available HERE. Much of the 2023 packet will be the same.


  • Must be a high school junior or senior enrolled at a school in one of these counties (including homeschool): Aiken (SC), Allendale (SC), Barnwell (SC),  Burke (GA), Columbia (GA), or Richmond (GA).
  • Each contestant must prepare his or her own essay about one of the listed topics.
  • Contestants must submit one (1) copy of their essay in its final form to the Contest Director by the due date of February 28, 2022. Each essay must be accompanied by an Official Student Entry Form. No faxed copies will be accepted, please email them.

Contest Criteria

Submit a 1,000-1,500 word essay on one of four topics. The 2022 topics were:

  • This past year has seen much progress toward sustained fusion power … discuss the progress and remaining roadblocks.
  • Discuss the use of nuclear technology in space exploration (past, present, and future).
  • Discuss the importance of isotopes in today’s medicine and the U.S. dependence on foreign supply.
  • Discuss how electricity generated from nuclear power versus fossil fuels can impact global warming.

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 volunteer members of CNTA. 

2022 Winners and Essays

The two $1,000 Winners were:

Adam Wallace

Richmond County Technical Career Magnet School
The two $750 Winners were:

Matthew Miller

Spring Valley High School

“Uses of Radioisotopes in Medicine and U.S Dependence on Foreign Supply”

Tyler Sims

Davidson Fine Arts Magnet School

“The battle for power: Nuclear energy vs. fossil fuels”

The two $500 Winners were:

Azaria Martin

Richmond County Technical Career Magnet School

“Discuss how electricity generated from nuclear power versus fossil fuels can impact global warming.”

Kaytlin Sturkey

Richmond County Technical Career Magnet School

“Nuclear Technology and Space Exploration”