Synapse is the official outreach team of Yale Scientific Magazine. As a Yale Dwight Hall member group and student organization, it is in charge of the community outreach projects of YSM. It aims to cultivate the interest in science, research, and scientific journalism in students of all ages, and to help them pursue science after high school.

Synapse is in charge of hosting the annual Resonance conference and the Yale Scientific Magazine National Essay Competition. It also co-hosts Science on Saturdays with Pathways to Science.



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Yale Scientific Magazine National Essay Competition

Welcome! At the Yale Scientific Magazine, we believe not only in spirit of cutting-edge science journalism but also in the importance of mentoring young science writers for the future. Because of this philosophy, we are now piloting an exciting new chapter in our outreach program: the annual Yale Scientific Magazine National Essay Competition!

The winning essay will be published in the winter issue of the Yale Scientific Magazine, and runner-up essays will be featured on our website.

Get started by flipping through the tabs for information detailing the guidelines of our contest — the essay prompts, word count, deadlines, and exactly how we’ll be working with and mentoring you throughout your writing process. Excited but not sure how to start? Visit this link for some tips on science writing.

Best of luck!

2017 Essay Prompt: 

If Science were to make a huge breakthrough in the next year, what do you think would be the most beneficial one to society? Why?

Rules and Guidelines

Eligibility Requirements and Deadlines

  1. To submit an entry to the essay contest, an individual must be a citizen of the United States currently enrolled in a United States high school.
  2. All contest materials must be received by March 1st, 2017 by 11:59 PM EST.

Submission Guidelines

This year we will be accepting multimedia responses, which will be judged in their own separate categories and awarded respective prizes.

Please submit your prompt response to the Yale Scientific Magazine Synapse email- yalesynapse@gmail.com :

  • Essays should be double-spaced, typed in Times New Roman, size 12 font, with 1 inch document margins. Please limit responses to 1000 words.
  • Video/Audio submissions should be 30 seconds to 3 minutes long.
  • Artwork/Photography of all forms is welcome. Please send either an image(s) or scans of your response. Participants may also include an optional paragraph (max. 300 words) further explaining their response.

2017 Essay Prompt

If science were to make a huge breakthrough in the next year, what do you think would be the most beneficial one to society? Why?

Contest Regulations

  1. Each individual may only submit one (1) entry per category.
  2. Each submission should reflect the contestant’s own work and original thinking. Entries that show evidence of plagarism will not be considered.
  3. 3. Each contestant must submit their response via email to the Yale Scientific Magazine Synapse email : yalesynapse@gmail.com .
  4. Please include any citations in Chicago style at the end of the essay or in a separate document for multimedia submissions.


1st place essay and 1st place artwork/photography will be published in the new issue of the Yale Scientific Magazine. 1st place video/audio will be featured on the YSM website and youtube channel.

1st and 2nd place essays, artwork/photography, and video/audio will be published on our website at www.yalescientific.org.

Top 2 entries in each category will also receive certificates, a yearly subscription to the publication, and a Yale Scientific Magazine t-shirt.

Winners and honorable mentions will be announced on our website and contacted via email.

Questions or Concerns?

If you have any questions or need any clarification, please do not hesitate to contact us at yalesynapse@gmail.com.

Submission (Closed)2017 Contest WinnersPast Winners