DarwinDay writing contest for school students: the meaning of Tiktaalik.... Cash awards!



Open only to students in grades 7-12

One top prize: $100

Two second prizes: $50

Four third prizes: $25


 “DarwinDay at Minot State University has always been about the confluence of ideas when science informs the human existence.”   


We can already hear you thinking “What the heck does that mean?!?”  Well, that’s the challenge in this essay contest: what does this statement mean to you?  To be more specific, and to relate it directly to our keynote speaker’s famous discovery, try writing about this question:


What does Tiktaalik mean for humanity?


This is a broad and open-ended question, and we expect that a good response would include as much reference to philosophy as it would scientific stuff.  Write for as long as you wish, but try to be concise.  Use whatever format you wish.  We would like to read essays that are awesome, and really long essays usually are not awesome.  Shoot for between 1000 and 2000 words.


How to prepare for writing about Tiktaalik?  Read about it, think about it, read Your Inner Fish by our keynote speaker Neil Shubin, and especially take advantage of a rare opportunity to hear Shubin speak on Thursday, February 10 or Friday, February 11.


Teachers and students should feel free to ask questions about this contest.  Essays are due by Midnight, Friday February 18.  Essays will be evaluated by a crew of Minot State Biology and English professors.  Give your essay to your teacher and have them email it as an attachment to


Bring it on!!