Annie Jump Cannon - Mayor's Essay Contest

Mayor Christiansen's Essay Contest

in Conjunction with Friends of Old Dover

Open for Capital and Caesar Rodney School District Students

Public, Charter, Parochial, and Homeschooled

4th - 12th

Theme - Annie Jump Cannon, Astronomer

Mayor’s Essay Contest Guidelines 2018

Eligibility: Open to all 4th-12th grade students attending Caesar Rodney or Capital School districts including parochial, charter, and homeschooled students.

Theme:  Annie Jump Cannon, Astronomer: defying limitations and paving the way for women in science.

Writing Prompt: Annie Jump Cannon was once called the “census taker of the sky” due to her extensive research in astronomy and her innovative classification system of the stars which is still used today in the field of astronomy. Annie also contributed to the Women’s Suffrage Movement, and in 1929 was listed as one of the twelve greatest living American women by the National League of Women Voters. Despite popular acclaim, Annie endured hardships such as becoming deaf at an early age and defying gender expectations of her time. In a short essay, explain how Annie’s hardships inspired her to rise above her circumstances and pave the way for the women of her time. Additionally, explain how Annie’s life story has inspired you to rise above your unique circumstances and pursue your dreams. Make sure to draw parallels between your life obstacles and those of Annie Jump Cannon.

Essay length:

● 4th - 5th graders - 200 - 400 words

● 6th - 8th graders - 500 - 1000 words

● 9th - 12th graders - 1000 - 1200

Essay Format:

● Cover page: name,  grade, address, phone #, and school (and teacher/leader if part of an assignment)

  • No identifying marks on the body of the essay (e.g. name, school etc.) for judging purposes

● Double spaced, 12 font

● Include reference notations appropriate to grade le

Entries should be submitted electronically to or mailed no later than November 9, 2018 to:

Mayor’s Essay Contest
Attn: Kay Sass -  City Hall
P.O.Box 475
Dover, DE 19903

If you have any questions, please contact Kari Ebert : or Kay Sass at Mayor’s email address. All entrants will receive a certificate from the Mayor, and awards will be given at a special ceremony at the Old State House, Dover, Delaware on Saturday, December 8th.  All essay participants will have a special opportunity to meet Dava Sobel, the author of The Glass Universe at this awards ceremony.