Student competition: winners announced Teach article

We are pleased to announce the winners of the student writing competition: the search for the strangest species on Earth. 

Thank you to all the teachers who encouraged their students to enter the Science in School student competition: the search for the strangest species on Earth. We had more than 80 fantastic submissions and after much consideration by the six judges, we are pleased to announce the winners and runners-up – congratulations! Each of the three winning entries will be published in the winter issue of Science in School. 

Please pass on our thanks and congratulations to all of your students who participated – we were very impressed by the high standard of the entries, especially since the majority of students were not writing in their native language.

Image courtesy of Kalle Gustafsson; image source: Flickr 

Winning entries

Update: the original winner of the age 11–15 category of the Science in School writing competition neglected to fulfil all of the entry requirements, and the winning entry is therefore awarded to Ana Aragón, Sara Hidalgo and Xavi Valeri.

Age category Author Entry title Age at time of entry Country
4–10 Hayden Cookson Naked mole rat – Heterocephalus glaber 7 United Kingdom
11–15 Ana Aragón, Sara Hidalgo & Xavi Valeri Turritopsis nutricula 13 Spain
16+ Aleksandra Markowska & Halina Ravensdale Hydra vulgaris 17 Poland


Age category Author Entry title Age at time of entry Country
4–10 Francesca Maslowicz The dumbo octopus 7 United Kingdom
16+  Matylda Kubacz

Efstathios Konstantakopoulos,
Dimitrios Pefanis & Vasiliki Tsimpouki

Ophiocordyceps unilateralis

Radioautotrophic fungi: Cladosporium sphaerospermum





Our thanks go to the judging panel:

  • Agnes Szmolenszky, head of the European Learning Laboratory for the Life Sciences (ELLS)
  • Caroline Hadley, co-founder of INLEXIO
  • Joseph Piergrossi, press officer at the European X-ray Free Electron Laser (European XFEL)
  • Sandra Bendiscioli, programme officer at the European Molecular Biology Organization (EMBO) science policy programme
  • Steven Goldfarb, physicist working on the ATLAS experiment at CERN
  • Yannick Lacaze, public outreach officer at the European Synchrotron Radiation Facility (ESRF)