PLATO High School Essay Contest

Announcement: We have our winners!

Winners, 2014 PLATO Essay Contest:

First place:  Jared Corbett – Oak Park River Forest High School, Oak Park IL
“Probabilistic Chains”

Second place:  Sydney To – Valley Christian High School, San Jose, CA
“Freedom in Degrees”

Third place:  James Drueckhammer – The Stony Brook School, Stony Brook NY
“Free Will”

Congratulations to all the winners whose essays will be published in a forthcoming issue of Questions.
Thanks to everyone who submitted essays. We enjoyed reading all the impressive entries and appreciate your participation.


The 2014-15 Essay Contest question and further requirements will be posted in October.

The PLATO High School Essay Contest awards will be given to the best philosophical essays written by high school students, in response to the year’s contest essay question.  In addition to first, second and third place prizes, there will be two honorable mention awards.

First place – $250
Second place – $150
Third place – $100

Winners will be announced by April 1. All winning essays will be published in PLATO’s journal Questions: Philosophy for Young People.

Contest Details:
Eligibility:  All high school students in the U.S. are eligible to enter.

Submission Process: Entries – including a one-paragraph bio and a cover sheet with your name, contact information (phone and email), grade and school (none of this information should appear on the essay itself) – should be emailed to:

Essay length: 2,000 words maximum

Judging:  The papers will be read and judged by a panel of high school philosophy teachers and philosophy professors.

Deadline: January 31, 2015



For more information or questions about the PLATO High School Essay Contest, please email:


PLATO High School Essay Contest

8 thoughts on “PLATO High School Essay Contest

  • June 20, 2013 at 10:14 am

    I would like to ask if non – US residents can apply to the completion.

    Thank you for your concern.

  • June 21, 2013 at 12:40 pm

    At this time, non-US residents cannot apply.

  • July 23, 2013 at 11:56 am

    Does this essay have to be written in another language than your original ?

    • August 7, 2013 at 9:02 am

      No, sorry about the confusion. It’s the international philosophy olympiad (IPO) that takes essays written in a non native language. For this contest please submit in english.

  • October 15, 2013 at 7:26 am

    There have been some question about what style format essays should be written in. No one will be disqualified because for formatting or citation style. Please submit in the style and using the citation format you use for your current courses.

  • Pingback:“What is free will?” Essay Contest | JUANKE

  • December 26, 2013 at 11:55 pm

    Would total skepticism still answer the proposed question?

    • January 2, 2014 at 10:02 am

      You can take any position you would like to on the issue.


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