2004 Neuroscience for Kids
Writing Contest

The results of the Neuroscience for Kids Writing Contest are in! We received 615 poems from students in kindergarten though grade 12. These poems came from 31 states and seven countries. From the United States, poems arrived from Alaska, Arizona, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Florida, Georgia, Idaho, Illinois, Kansas, Louisiana, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, Maine, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Mississippi, Montana, North Carolina, Nebraska, Ohio, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, Tennessee, Texas, Virginia, Vermont, Washington and Wisconsin. From outside the United States, students sent poems from Australia, New Zealand, Canada, South Africa, Pakistan and Germany.

To judge the contest, Dr. Eric Chudler read all 615 poems and selected finalists from each grade category (Kindergarten-Grade 2; Grade 3-Grade 5; Grade 6-Grade 8; Grade 9-12). Fourteen judges (neuroscientists, teachers, University of Washington staff) read these selected poems and chose up to 10 of their favorites. The judges' scores were then tallied and the poems that received the most votes were declared winners.

Below is a list of the winners and a few samples of their poems. Winners were awarded a book or poster related to neuroscience.

Kindergarten through Grade 2 (poem; any style)
From Leslie M., a first grader in Miamiburg, OH:

My brain helps me read and write,
It even works at night.
It helps me think,
And is like a computer.
With my brain I can play and run,
And also think about fun.

From Jeremiah T., a first grader in Slidell, LA:

My brain is like a train.
It keeps me on track.
My brain tells me when I am sleepy
or if I want a snack.
My brain helps make me, me.
It helps me to taste, touch, smell, hear and see.

Grade 3 to Grade 5 (poem; must rhyme)
From John M., a fifth grader in Sparta, NJ:

Deep in my brain there is a city,
Neurons are moving and keeping real busy.
These neurons work from head to toe,
Dendrites receive and synapse let go.
My neurons will tell me what I see or hear,
They also tell me what is far or near.
They let me move my body all about,
I think I know them without a doubt.

From Sarah V., a fifth grader in Sterling Heights, MI:

My name is Sarah, can't you see.
I'm a kid with Epilepsy.
Don't be afraid, I'm not seizing
But if I do, please no teasing.

Grade 6 to Grade 8 (must be a haiku)
From Erin B., a seventh grader in Omaha, NE:

A tiny highway
With speedy chemical cars
A synapse is there

From Brandon F., a sixth grader in Medina, MN:

An uncharted land
An infinite realm of thoughts
And all in your head

Grade 9 to Grade 12 (must be a limerick)
From Mary K.H., a ninth grader in Hattiesburg, MS:

There once was a forgetful axon
Who tended to get all his facts wrong
When he thought he was right
He asked the next dendrite
Who said go and ask the ganglion.

From Hillary B., an eleventh grader in Etna, NH:

A man mistook his wife for a hat.
Could it get much more crazy than that?
He lived in abstraction -
Drove him to distraction!
But much better a hat than a cat.

List of All Winners
Grade K-2 Grade 3-5 Grade 6-8 Grade 9-12
Hamlyn F., Lindale, TX | Jeremiah T., Slidell, LA
Brock K., Ririe, ID | Leslie M., Miamisburg, OH
Monica P., Chesterfield, VA | Austin K., Ririe, ID
Madeline H., Snellville, GA
Jessica W., Lawrenceville, GA
Courtney D., Lawrenceville, GA
Maleah M., Lawrenceville, GA
Haden F., Snellville, GA | Michael B., Grayson, GA
Karli G., Lawrenceville, GA | Ashley N., Snellville, GA
Stephanie S., Malta, IL | Amith L., Saratoga, CA
Rohith L., Saratogo, CA | Shree N., Edison, NJ
Anna R., Upper Black Eddy, PA
Hanna, S., Orleans, ON, Canada
Ally K., Satellite Beach, FL
Elonzeya T., Houston, TX
Annalise I., Absecon, NJ
Samira B., Madison, CT
Zubin M., Guilderland, NY
Several students from Edna Libby School (ME)
Several students from Elm Grove Elem. School (TX)
Several students from Seabury School (WA)
Natalie N., Santa Barbara, CA
Brendan D., Cary, NC
Elissabeth B., Springtown, PA
Kristina W., Saline, MI
Sarah V., Sterling Heights, MI
Ally R., Cartersville, GA
Kelly S., Ottsville, PA
Gabriella S., Cape Town, South Africa
Jacy W., Chuckey, TN
Emma K., Seattle, WA
Stephanie L., Sparta, NJ
John M., Sparta, NJ
Joseph G., Seattle, WA
Athena W., Olympia, WA
Erin B., Omaha, NE
Brandon F., Medina, MN
Alex E., Plymouth, MN
Paul J., Schenectady, NY
Sperry R., Libby, MT
Mary K.H., Hattiesburg, MS
Hillary B., Etna, NH

Prizes include:

Your Brain
Capstone Press
(Bridgestone Books)

Your Senses
Capstone Press
(Pebble Books)

Compass Point Books

Picture Window Books

Brain Facts
Society for Neuroscience

States of Mind
The Dana Press

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