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Colloquium Schedule | Upcoming Events

Format, Deadlines, Eligibility, Evaluations and Awards

The format of your submission should be a Microsoft Word document, double spaced, on 8.5" by 11" paper with 1" margins, using 12 point font, and APA or any comparable style of referencing. Each page should be clearly identified with the essay title and page # of total # of pages. The cover sheet should also specify the student's name, e-mail address, school, grade at time of submission, teacher's name and contact information. The submission should be made electronically. Contestants should be aware that submissions may be tested for originality.

We have chosen timely and progressive topics that can be connected to the Ontario high school curriculum, in the hope that high school teachers will embrace this contest and incorporate it into their regular teaching. In this event, a large number of entries would be generated, and teachers would be of great assistance in the preliminary round of evaluations by submitting their three-to-five best essays to the Chemistry Department by April 14, 2013. Submit essays electronically to essaycontest@chem.utoronto.ca

The essays will be evaluated by a team of Chemistry Department personnel composed of professors, lecturers and graduate students. They will look for:

  • a witty, original title that is informative as well as engaging
  • clear, concise, grammatically correct writing that condenses the important points of the topic into the 500 - 600 words allowed
  • accurate chemical explanations, with some chemical insight, without propaganda or political judgements
  • reputable sources used

A maximum of 18 STUDENT WINNERS will be chosen by a Departmental panel of chemists. Student authors of winning essays AND THEIR CHEMISTRY MENTORS will be recognized in the following ways:


  • a certificate, prize money (ranging in value from $50 to $100)
  • recognition during the Ask-A-Laureate event, where the award will be presented
  • a celebration luncheon with a prominent chemist or Nobel Laureate

The award will be given in recognition of best essays written by high school age students.
Eligibility - Although the topics are geared to the grades 11 and 12 Ontario curricula, any student of high school age or younger who has not taken courses at the higher education level, is eligible.

The CHEMISTRY MENTOR AWARD, consisting of a certificate, recognition during the Ask-A-Laureate event where the award will be presented and a celebration luncheon. This award will be given in recognition of Chemistry teachers who have mentored student winners.

LUNCH WITH A LAUREATE will be held on Friday, May 10, 2013 on the St. George campus of the University of Toronto, where award winners will have the opportunity to engage in conversation with the speakers over lunch.