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STEMside X Stratssoc 2024
Summer Writing Competition

Artificial Intelligence (AI) has emerged as a powerful tool, revolutionising research by enhancing speed and efficiency. Its fast-growing capacity across multiple science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) fields has drawn researchers' attention to its future applications and risks. As the widespread integration of AI raises both hopes and concerns, STEMside and Stratssoc collaboratively invite current and prospective STEM students to delve into the transformative influence of AI across various STEM fields. In this competition, participants will adopt the mindset of researchers, to collect and critique the evidence of AI’s contribution in their chosen fields of interest. Through graphical abstracts and written reports, participants will explore the nuances of AI’s applications to balance its potential and limitations


Professionals from STEM and science communication fields will assess the work of participants. Writers will receive professional feedback on their submissions, through writing, participants can expect to improve their communication skills, particularly in STEM-related areas, whilst also developing their research skills by delving into a topic of interest.

Important Dates

Launch Date: 10th June 202

Submission Deadline: 31st July 2024

Winner Announcement: 31st August 2024

Target audiences: 

  • Current STEM undergraduates 

  • Current secondary and high school students interested in STEM

PLEASE USE THE BELOW FORM TO SUBMIT YOUR ENTRY

Prizes

Category
e-Coupon Value (£)
Undergraduate - 1st Place
100
Undergraduate - 2nd Place
50
High School/Sixth Form - 1st place
100
High School/Sixth Form - 2nd Place
50
Secondary School - 1st Place
100
Secondary School - 2nd Place
50

Winners will receive an e-coupon in the value stated above. Winners will be contacted via email and announced on our Instagram accounts @stemside.co and @stratssoc (so be sure to follow us!). The specific e-coupon will be chosen by winners (subject to feasibility and approval) to best suit their personal interests and location.

Instructions

The exact structure of your work is for you to decide, but the following elements shall be included and easily identifiable:

 

  • One graphical abstract that summarises the main idea discussed in your essay with appropriate annotations in the figure, title, and figure legend

 

  • Main Text including (maximum 500 words)

    • Introduction – set the scene and introduce the reason that led to your research on this specific AI application

    • Benefits and limitations – How and why is the application of AI significant in your field? How has it benefitted or brought negative impacts to your chosen field? It is advised that you include some real-world examples to strengthen your article

    • Conclusion – conclude your work and provide an overarching opinion on the potential impacts of future development and application of AI in your chosen field

 

What we are looking for:

  • Approachable and simple: The goal of your article is to allow anyone to learn more about science without having to decipher all the technical jargon research papers are packed with. We define “simple” as something for a pre-university/college student to be able to read without getting confused. 

  • Flow: Does the structure of your article flow coherently?

  • Resourceful: Your article should effectively explore the breadth and depth of a certain STEM field so that the readers can understand its technical details and the significance of knowledge. Therefore, using real examples and reliable resources to support your points is imperative. 

  • Appropriate referencing: Good scientific writing ensures that your information comes from reliable sources and that you properly credit the original authors. Therefore, we require the use of the MLA referencing style in your essay submission. If you are unfamiliar with this style, please refer to this MLA Citation Guide. If you prefer to use a citation generator, Mendeley and Zotero are excellent free options.

  • Originality and creativity: A similarity test will be run for each submission. The use of creative examples makes articles stand out. 

What you will gain from participating in this event

  • Constructive feedback: Receive valuable feedback on your writing from our jurors, regardless of whether you win.

 

  • Research opportunity: Dive deep into your area of interest and share your findings with the public through accessible, layman-friendly writing.

 

  • Cash prizes: Compete for a chance to win cash prizes.

  • CV enhancement: Enhance your CV by showcasing your involvement in this competition, especially if you are interested in the field or science communication. You will receive a certificate of participation irrespective of the competition outcome. Winners will be awarded a special certificate, co-signed by our esteemed panel of honorary guest jurors, who are experts in the STEM field and science communication.

Submitting your work

Instructions and Work Submission from Participants:

  • Submission format: written report submitted in .pdf  format (max. 500 words exclusive of title, figure legends, and references)

  • Participants will be submitting their work through a Google form.

  • Each submission will go through a plagiarism checker.

Winner selection process

Your submission will be evaluated by the STEMside group (for undergraduates) or the Stratssoc group (for secondary school teams). Each participant will receive valuable feedback from their judges, regardless of the competition outcome. The STEMside and Stratsoc judges will evaluate all entries based on the specified criteria and select the top 3 from each group. Our honorary judging panel will then review these top entries, and select the final winners.

Honorary Jurors

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​​Maria Serveta 

Imperial College London Public Engagement Coordinator

As Engagement Coordinator (Capacity Building) Maria is part of the central Societal Engagement Team at Imperial College London. She supports Imperial's staff and students to do more and better public engagement. She delivers a range of training sessions, manages internal engagement networks and supports public engagement programmes at both White City and South Kensington campuses. She also evaluates training sessions and disseminates findings to improve practice. 

 

Before joining Imperial, Maria spent 8 years in Audience Research at the Natural History Museum and the Science Museum Group working on a range of projects (exhibitions and galleries, learning programmes, research initiatives). She worked with a variety of audiences (families, school groups, teenagers, young children, visitors with disabilities, etc.) to research their needs, wants and expectations around STEM engagement. As an audience advocate, she worked with museum teams to put research into practice and ensure cultural products were appealing, accessible and enjoyable for their intended audiences. Maria holds a BA in Primary Education and a MA in Museum Studies.

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Anita Chandran

Springer Nature Associate Editor

Anita Chandran is a science writer and editor. She is a founding member and the fiction editor of Tamarind, a literary magazine that looks at the intersections of art, science, and society, as well as an editor at the scientific journal Nature Communications. She previously completed her PhD at Imperial College London, where she also worked on artistic portrayals of artificial intelligence.

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Gulnaz (Naz) Abdullah

Gulnaz (Naz) Abdullah currently works for Student Outreach at Imperial College as the Central and North-West London Advanced Maths Support Programme Area Coordinator. She has nearly 20 years of teaching experience, ranging from English summer schools for foreign exchange students to Head of Maths in an inner-city London school. In her free time, Naz enjoys watercolour painting, exploring museums and galleries, and creative writing. She has been on several writing courses and regularly attends writing groups for developing authors. Here she has picked up skills for supporting and providing feedback to new writers. She is excited to be part of the judging panel for STEMside x Stratssoc Writing Competition.

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