In May 2020 there was a IMPMS Essay Competition. From a list of 5 medieval scholars, the contestants were asked to select one to write about. The list included Al-Haitham, Al-Khawarazmi, Al-Zahravi, Ibn Sina, and Jabir Bin Haiyan. In their essays, the contestants were asked to show how the scholars’ inventions and its impact on society, both in the past and present. Furthermore, they were requested to indicate how were they inspired by the scholar they wrote about.
The contestants were divided into 2 age groups of under 13 and 13-18 years of age. The youngest contestant was only 8 years old. The top 3 winners of each group were supposed to receive certificates of achievement along with cash prizes of $75, $50, $25, respectively. However, several contestants were tied for 2nd and 3rd place which caused us to increase the number of winners from 6 to 10.
The contest went national, because out of 27 contestants, 4 were from California, 1 from Ohio, and the remaining 22 were from the DFW area. Of the total number of contestants, 13 were female and 14 were male--almost a 50-50 ratio. In both age groups, however, females dominated the contest: in the junior group 3 out the 4 prizes were snatched by the girls, and in the senior group, 4 out of the 6 prizes were earned by the girls.