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

Complete Entry Form Packet for 2022 Essay Contest has all the details to apply for the 2022 Contest!


  • 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 are:

  • 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. 

2021 Winners and Essays

The three $1,000 Winners were:

Ben DiPrete

Greenbrier High School

Brian Johnson

Richmond County Technical Career Magnet School
The three $500 Winners were:

Melissa Murph

North Augusta High School

“Nuclear Technology vs Its Opponents.”

Madison Ackroyd

Aiken Scholars Academy

“Nuclear Power: A Sustainable and Environmentally Safe Energy Source.”

Kaytlin Sturkey

Richmond County Technical Career Magnet School

“How We Touch the Earth.”