Detailed Rules and Guidelines


Students must choose and write about one the following topics:

Topic A


Herta Heuwer had a street food booth in Berlin and it is said that on September 4, 1949, it was there that she invented currywurst. The sauce with sliced sausage was a hit and currywurst was on its way to becoming an iconic street food. Today there are a number of street food booths offering currywurst all over Germany and the food is closely associated with Berlin with the dish one of the newer traditions in the country. Have you heard of or ever tasted currywurst?

Think about food that you associated with people, events or places. Is there a traditional food that your family must make or eat during certain times of the year? Are there local foods that you think all visitors must try? Describe your family’s and town’s food traditions, including examples of specific foods. Why are they important to you and what makes them important? Would they be the same without the traditional foods? Are there traditions that you plan to continue as an adult?

Topic B
Climate-Neutral Industrial Nation

Germany plans to become a climate-neutral industrial nation by 2045. In order to achieve this, changes must take place on every level of society. From the continued development of sources for renewable energy to production facilities using different materials to towns and cities working with residents to reduce their carbon footprint – it must all work together in order to accomplish the goal.

Picture yourself as mayor of a small town and you are looking for ways to become climate-neutral. You’ve examined the buildings, transportation and personal habits of your residents. There are many places you could start. What are some ideas the first ideas you can think of to start making changes? Do you have ways that each person could contribute to the effort? Describe your ideas, giving specific examples, and why they will help with the climate-neutral goal and how people will help. Are there examples in your real town that you think should be done in other places?

* Essays must be in English.

* 300 words or fewer for Grades 3-5; 500 words for Grades 6-12. (Note: More does not mean better! Focus on quality, not quantity.)

* Students may submit only one essay per person.

* Submit entries as .doc (Microsoft Word), .pdf (Adobe Acrobat), .odt (OpenOffice), scanned-in graphic files (jpg, etc.) or .txt (Simple Text) files only.

* Email your essay to Jennifer Clardy Chalmers (Jennifer.Clardy-Chalmers[at]opendiplo.de).

*Entry must include the author’s name, grade level, school name and school address at the beginning of the essay.

* Please note: due to the high number of entries, it is not possible to send out an email confirmation for every entry. Should you wish to inquire about whether or not your entry was received, send a separate email to the entry address.

All students enrolled in 3rd through 12th grade in the U.S.A. are eligible. Seniors graduating in 2024 are eligible. Students enrolled in DoDDS schools or schools in American overseas territories with APO mailing addresses are eligible. Homeschooled students are also eligible.

Each essay must be the sole work of the author.

Entries may be submitted by individual writers or by their teachers.

Entries must include the name of the student & teacher/advisor, the grade level of student, the email address of student & teacher, and a postal address for the student & teacher. This information enables the German Embassy to quickly award prizes and prize packages. No personal or contact information will be handed over to a third party.

Only electronically submitted essays will be accepted.

Entries must be 300 words or fewer for elementary students; 500 words or less for middle and high school students.

Submitted entries will become the property of the German Embassy Washington; they may appear online or in print in associated publications.

The decision of the panel of judges from German Embassy Washington is final.

Students are encouraged to review spelling, grammar and punctuation.

DEADLINE for entries is May 1, 2024. Winners will be notified prior to May 15, 2024.

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