In 500 words or less, write about one of the following topics. Please note: these prompts are the same as the Common Application Essay Topics:
Some students have a background, identity, interest, or talent that is so meaningful they believe their application would be incomplete without it. If this sounds like you, then please share your story.
The lessons we take from obstacles we encounter can be fundamental to later success. Recount a time when you faced a challenge, setback, or failure. How did it affect you, and what did you learn from the experience?
Reflect on a time when you questioned or challenged a belief or idea. What prompted your thinking? What was the outcome?
Describe a problem you've solved or a problem you'd like to solve. It can be an intellectual challenge, a research query, an ethical dilemma - anything that is of personal importance, no matter the scale. Explain its significance to you and what steps you took or could be taken to identify a solution.
Discuss an accomplishment, event, or realization that sparked a period of personal growth and a new understanding of yourself or others.
Describe a topic, idea, or concept you find so engaging that it makes you lose all track of time. Why does it captivate you? What or who do you turn to when you want to learn more?
Share an essay on any topic of your choice. It can be one you've already written, one that responds to a different prompt, or one of your own design.
You will be prompted to include your essay when completing the online application. Please type your essay and include it as a part of your Application for Undergraduate Admissions. If emailing, mailing or faxing your essay, include your name, birthdate, and the date on the essay. This essay will be used as an important document in scholarship consideration.
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Human beings are quite amazing, but we certainly are not the strongest animals; we do not have fur that would protect us from the cold nor do we have wings to escape from a predator or fly down to catch a prey. Furthermore, we are susceptible to various types of lethal and infectious diseases. Yet, we have managed to survive as a species for thousands of years. This has only been possible because of humankind's possession of immense brain power. Our brains have enabled us to imagine several life-changing ideas, such as Watson, Crick, and Rosalind Franklin's discovery of the double helical structure of DNA. Their discovery has empowered scientists of today to continue performing research on the cell to cure the most deadly diseases of our century. This is a prime example of how science can drastically change the world for the betterment of society. To further enhance our legacy, as humans living in the only known habitable world, we can encourage interest and participation in science by creating more hands-on scientific opportunities for the public.
Early intervention is critical in increasing the amount of participation in science. On a personal account, in elementary school, I remember learning about natural disasters from a lengthy textbook. While this classic method informed me about essential scientific terms, ideas, and theories, the book was not as powerful of an experience as the scientific experiment I conducted with my 5th grade class. We made a clay volcano by utilizing baking soda, vinegar, and soap. Bubbly, vivid, and full of energy, it was quite an explosion. Having attended a low-income school, due to budget cuts, our class only had the opportunity to actively participate in just one experiment. I wish that the curriculum was designed so that we would have the maximum amount of hands-on experiences in the subject. Today, elementary schools can aim to do this, to encourage children to participate in and conduct experiments at school so that their curiosity is sparked. If more hands-on opportunities are provided in the class, the students would feel a deeper connection and interest with not only science, but most other subjects as well. Another instance in which early intervention would increase children's interest in the science field is taking them to places such as the Exploratorium and Academy of Sciences. The Exploratorium, a hands-on museum packed with interactive scientific activities, is the perfect place to encourage active participation in science. Whenever I visit the museum, I constantly notice several groups of children surrounding a particular exhibit, and asking numerous questions about how their shadows are colored or why the model tornado spins in a certain direction.
Educating individuals of all ages the true essence of science, and granting learners the opportunities to pursue a career in the field would motivate them to increase their level of participation. Science is not just about memorizing chemistry or physics formulas or even following other individuals' experimental procedures. It is also about you finding evidence to support your own theory, asking your own questions, developing your very own scientific process along the way, and discovering the unknown, and, ultimately, your very own answers. Teachers must give students the tools and background knowledge to build their experiments; however, from that point onwards, students must take the initiative to perform the research and develop a procedure. Additionally, to encourage participation in science, the community can create science-related opportunities for the younger generation, and empower them to make a difference. Whether it be volunteering at a local elementary school to teach children topics about science or interning at a state-of-the-art biomedical laboratory, no opportunity is small or less rewarding. Furthermore, on a personal account, my Health Science teacher had reserved a fieldtrip to the then new UCSF Sandler Neuroscience center. Last year, when my classmates and I visited this research facility, we were astonished by the new forms of technology and science taking place at the institute. Part of our trip included the opportunity to travel inside an animated brain by utilizing highly-developed goggles. It seemed completely surreal. The entire experience was extremely inspirational, and, for the first time, I saw myself pursuing a career in the science field.
As a result of the trip to the organization and past science classes, I applied to a summer internship program at the Gladstone Institutes, UCSF. This program is geared towards providing research opportunities to low income, underserved minorities to further diversify the future science field. Through an extensive application process, I was granted the privilege to perform research on HIV using live, infected immune cells. Although the research I conducted was a roller coaster ride, it has taught me that when performing research you often fail and continue to, but then you reach that turning point, and it is that successful moment which becomes the highlight of the rewarding experience. Safe to say, the internship changed the course of my life. Seeing that I could be a part of this community and having mentors who were women deepened my passion and interest for the subject.
In conclusion, to increase participation and interest in the science field, active learners must be given the opportunity, but also take initiative for themselves, to discover what science means to them, and how it impacts their daily lives. Science has the potential to create a more efficient and healthy society, but it is in the hands of future generations to uncover hidden puzzles, cures, and innovations.