Grace Hopper Essay Contest

Rear Admiral Grace Hopper (1906-1992) was a pioneer computer scientist, often referred to by her nickname, "Amazing Grace" due to the breadth of her scientific achievements and professional accomplishments.  She earned a doctorate in mathematics from Yale University in 1934, a time when few women obtained higher degrees. She worked on the Harvard Mark I computer and UNIVAC I and was instrumental in the development of COBOL, an early high-level programming language still in use today. Grace Hopper visited Hood College several times in the 1980's, giving a departmental lecture, receiving an Honorary degree in 1983 and serving as the Commencement speaker in 1984 --  inspiring women to pursue careers in the sciences. In honor of her birthday, December 9, we are celebrating Grace Hopper Week.

To celebrate her unique achievements, we invite students from grades 9-12 to submit essays for the Hood Grace Hopper Essay Contest. For a printable copy of the rules, see

Essay Contest Rules

1) Choose one of the two topics:

Topic A
Amazing Grace: The life, achievements and impact of Adm. Grace Hopper to women and education

Topic B
“A ship in port is safe, but that is not what ships are built for.”
                            Adm. Grace Hopper.

2) Submit either a written (3-4 pages) or a video (3-4 min) essay by December 31st, 2017 via email to:

                Subject: Grace Hopper Essay Contest

In your message, include your full name, your teacher’s name and your school.
If you are submitting a document essay, attach the document in your email.
If you are submitting a video essay, in your email send a private URL of your video from YouTube or Vimeo. Please, don’t attach your video file to your email, it will be automatically disqualified.

3) The contest is open only to students in 9-12th grade, and provides the opportunity for students to perform research on a pioneer who has made significant contributions to science and engineering. All participants and sponsoring teachers are recognized, and the winning students are presented with their awards by a Hood faculty committee at school assemblies.

4) Available prizes include mini drones (Parrot Mini Jumping Sumo), fitness activity trackers (Bluetooth Water-Resistant Activity Tracker) and space pens (write in all angles and extreme temperatures) and more!

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