“Wonders of Plastics” Essay Contest 2024

The Society of Plastics Engineers (SPE) presents our Annual “Wonders of Plastics” essay contest. Open to all middle/junior high and high school students, the essay must be sponsored by a teacher and must meet certain requirements – See page 2 of our SPE-2024-Essay-Contest-Entry-Form here.

  • First prize $250 (one winner in High School and Elementary Division)
  • Second Prize $125 (one winner in High School and Elementary Division)

Topics to consider:

  • Advantages of plastics in food packaging
  • Creative use of recycled plastics
  • How plastics benefit humankind
  • How plastics improve our lifestyle Plastics in the environment
  • Plastics usefulness in society
  • What plastics has done for me
  • Why the bad reputation of plastics is wrong

All essay submissions must be received at the SPE address, listed below, along with the entry form, by the announced deadline. Feb 28th 2023.

The winning entry for each participating local affiliation (Section) may be publicized in the Section’s Newsletter and awards will be presented at the Annual SPE Education night in April.

Entry forms may be copied, but each essay must be attached to an Entry form; essays will not be returned and become the property of SPE.

Submit your Essay to: SPE Milwaukee Section via email: milwaukeespe@gmail.com
Entries must be received by Feb 28th, 2024.


Length: Between 500 and 1,000 words
Format: Typewritten in English on 8 ½ x 11 paper (for North America), title to appear as heading on each page; no name on any page except the entry form that must accompany each essay; 1-inch margins minimum on all sides

The organization structure of the essay should be “logical,” including the following considerations:

Introduction: Optional
Thesis: Several sentences
Development: This section should be several paragraphs and should discuss the theme, analyze it, feature informal research about the theme, etc.
Conclusion: This section should be at least one paragraph in which the author summarizes the ideas presented in the essay

Spelling should be correct; syntax should be readable; punctuation should be conventional. Essay should be free of sentence fragments. Diction (word choice) should be appropriate to the subject and the writer’s understanding of the topic. Point of view should be appropriate to the topic/subject and remain constant and consistent. A mixture of first and third person is acceptable if it is appropriate to the voice of the essay. However, the use of second person (“you” either stated directly or implied) will change the “voice” of the essay in a manner damaging to its effectiveness. Footnotes and references must be included when necessary.

A panel consisting of SPE members and volunteers will judge essays. In order to be a finalist, the essay must meet all the conditions as stated in the organization and mechanics above, with only incidental errors in mechanics. It must meet the assigned minimum length and must be submitted following the prescribed format.

Click here for the Entry form