Award Poster Award Poster
  • National Geographic inspires people
    to care about the planet

  • You inspire by excelling in your
    science education

  • Put it into action by participating in
    the National Geographic Learning
    AP® Student of the Year Award!

As an educational publisher, National Geographic Learning | Cengage Learning seeks to partner with educators and students on impacting the world through social and scientific understanding and action. We support the Advanced Placement® course and its goals of builiding scientific skills and inquiry-based understanding of the physical world. To that end, we announce the National Geographic Learning AP® Student of the Year Award to an individual student whose work and thought embodies the fundamental principles of scientific understanding, exploration, and action with a goal of conserving and enhancing the world we live in.

For students enrolled in AP® Science courses within Grades 9–12, simply tell us "What are you doing to change the world?"

Congratulations, Aman Patel from Sugarland, Texas!
AP, Advanced Placement and Pre-AP are registered trademarks of the College Entrance Examination Board, which was not involved in the production of, and does not endorse, these products.
Home Conservation in Action Student Expeditions Site

One grand prize winner will be awarded and
will select from one of five
National Geographic Conservation in Action Student Expeditions.

Our Judging Panel includes:

Gregg MarshallGreg Marshall
National Geographic Fellow
G. Tyler Miller, Jr.G. Tyler Miller, Jr.
Author on Living in the Environment
Randl L. BellRandy L. Bell, Ph.D.
Author, National Geographic Science and Exploring Science
AP, Advanced Placement and Pre-AP are registered trademarks of the College Entrance Examination Board, which was not involved in the production of, and does not endorse, these products.

NO PURCHASE NECESSARY TO ENTER OR WIN THE CONTEST. The Sponsor of this Contest is National Geographic Learning, a part of Cengage Learning, Inc., 20 Channel Center Drive, Boston, MA (the "Sponsor").

1. ELIGIBILITY: National Geographic Learning AP Student of the Year Award (the "Contest") is open to legal residents of the continental United States, Alaska, Hawaii. Void where prohibited. Employees, directors and officers, and their immediate families (spouse, parents, children, siblings, and their respective spouses), and their respective household members, of the Sponsor, its affiliates, subsidiaries, divisions, advertising and promotion agents are not eligible to enter. Promotion is subject to all federal, state, and local laws.

2. CONTEST TIMING: The Entry Period for the Contest begins at midnight (EST) on September 8, 2014 at 9:00 am ET and ends February 2, 2015 at 12 pm ET (the "Entry Period"). All entries must be received by February 2, 2015. Judging of entries will begin at or about midnight (EST) on February 3rd, 2015 (the "Judging Period"). All Contest times will be measured by the Sponsor’s computer system clock. This is a skills based contest and chance plays no part in the determination of winners.

3. Eligibility: Contest is open only to legal residents of the United States who are in 9th through 12th grades at the time of entry, who are taking an Advanced Placement Science course, and who meet the Admissions Criteria for a National Geographic Student Expedition as described below in "Judging Criteria and Conditions." If you are under the age of 18, you must have permission from a parent or legal guardian to enter the Contest. If selected as a Finalist, and are under the age of 18, you will be required to provide your parent or legal guardian’s written consent to your participation, and if you fail to provide such written consent within three business days of the request then you may be disqualified. Employees of National Geographic Learning I Cengage Learning, and its affiliates and subsidiaries, and family members or people living in the same household with such individuals, are not eligible to participate.

4. How to enter: All entries must be submitted in digital format through our online entry form. To enter, please go to our online entry form and follow the step-by-step directions on that page. Submit an original essay that conveys, "What Are You Doing to Change the World?" Include a title for the essay, a written description (500 words or less). Your entry must comply with the following requirements (the "Entry Requirements"):

  • All essays must be 500 words or less. An essay may include a photo.
  • If you include a photograph, submissions must be 5 megabytes or smaller, must be in JPEG or JPG format, and must be at least 1,600 pixels wide (if a horizontal image) or 1,600 pixels tall (if a vertical image). No manipulating of the photograph or video is acceptable.
  • The essay, and photo, each in its entirety, must be a single work of original material created by the Contest entrant. By entering the Contest, entrant represents, acknowledges and warrants that the submitted essay with photo are original works created solely by the entrant and that no other party has any right, title, claim or interest in the photograph or the description.
  • The digital image file submitted will not be returned or acknowledged.
  • Obscene, provocative, or otherwise objectionable content will not be considered, and such determination is solely at the discretion of the Sponsor.
  • Each entrant may submit one essay. The entries will be judged in accordance with the Judging Criteria, as defined below. All entries must be submitted and received by February 2, 2015 EST. Proof of submission is not proof of receipt.
  • Photographs must be in digital format. Only online entries will be eligible. No print or film submissions will be accepted for entry into this contest. The photograph need not be taken with a digital camera, but scans of negatives, transparencies or photographic prints are not acceptable. All digital files must be 5 megabytes or smaller.
  • Photographs that include sculptures, statues, paintings, and other works of art, private property, and/or persons will be accepted at the sole discretion of the Sponsor; provided that entrants must be prepared to provide a release form from the holder of rights in any such works of art, property, and/or individual persons if requested by the Sponsor. When photographing the work of others, it must be as an object in its environment and not a full-frame close up of another person’s art. Failure to provide such releases upon request will result in disqualification at any time during the Contest and selection of an alternate winner.
  • Entries must be received during the Contest promotion period in order to be eligible. There is a limit of one (1) entry per category per person/email address. Subsequent entries received from the same person/email address in the same promotion period will be disqualified. Incomplete entries or entries not complying with these Official Rules are subject to disqualification. Entries that have been generated by a script, macro, bot, or any other automated means will be deemed void. Proof of mailing or emailing does not constitute proof of delivery. Entries become the property of the Sponsor and will not be acknowledged or returned. Sponsor is not responsible for late, lost, incomplete, illegible, or misdirected entries. Sponsor’s decisions are final on all matters relating to this Contest. If a dispute results as to the identity of an online entrant, it will be deemed that the online entry was submitted by the authorized account holder of the email address from which the entry is made. For these purposes, the authorized account holder is the natural person assigned to an e-mail address by an internet access provider, on-line service provider or other organization responsible for assigning email addresses or the domain associated with the submitted email address.

5. DETERMINATION OF WINNERS: The Contest consists of two (2) rounds of evaluation. The judges will use the same Judging Criteria in each round. The top ten candidates in Round One will proceed to Round Two.

In Round One, a team of National Geographic Learning staff with expertise in both Advanced Placement and science content, will evaluate the entries based on the following criteria, and will select the top entries by applying those criteria ("Judging Criteria"):

1. Response to question of survey.

2. Extent to which the essay conveys a sense of exploration or adventure (25%)

Up to ten top entries in Round One will be selected as finalists and will proceed to Round Two. All Round One finalists will be contacted by email and asked to submit a release form signed by a parent or legal guardian if under the age of 18, agreeing to the terms described herein. If Sponsor does not receive the signed parental release within three business days of Sponsor’s email request, the finalist may be disqualified, and may not proceed to Round Two.

In Round Two, a panel of three, consisting of a National Geographic Explorer and National Geographic Learning authors, ("Judges"), will evaluate the top ten entries from Round One and select a potential Grand Prize winner based on the Judging Criteria. The potential Grand Prize winner must then complete the National Geographic Student Expeditions application process (https://app.ngstudentexpeditions.com/) and demonstrate that s/he meets the Admissions Criteria for participation in an National Geographic Student Expedition, as determined by Sponsor through its National Geographic Student Expeditions application process (https://app.ngstudentexpeditions.com/): participants must maintain high standards of personal behavior. Because they are encouraged, within the context of our trips, to take leadership roles and to make some of their own discoveries, students whose parents require them to be under constant surveillance or who are likely to act irresponsibly; use drugs, alcohol, or tobacco; or behave in a disruptive manner are not eligible. Collectively, these standards are referred to herein as "Admissions Criteria."

If the Sponsor determines based on the application that the entrant meets the Admissions Criteria for an National Geographic Student Expedition, the entrant will be declared the Grand Prize winner. If Sponsor determines that the entrant does not meet the Admissions Criteria, then the entrant will be disqualified and the Sponsor will select an alternate Grand Prize winner. Once the Grand Prize winner is confirmed, the Judges will select a Second and Third Place winner based on the Judging Criteria. Decisions of the Judges are final.

All taxes and any other costs related to the prize not specifically stated within these Official Rules are the sole responsibility of the winner. Prizes are not transferable and no substitutions or cash equivalents are permitted, except that the Sponsor may, at its sole discretion, substitute the prize with a prize of equal or greater value. Specifics of the prizes are in Sponsor’s sole discretion. All prizes will be awarded. If winner is deemed a minor in his/her state or place of residence, prizes will be awarded in the name of a parent or legal guardian.


  • One (1) Grand Prize Winner will be selected.
  • The Grand Prize is the winner’s choice of one of five National Geographic Student Expeditions including roundtrip coach air transportation between a major airport near the winner’s home and the workshop destination; and accommodations, meals and activities as described in the description of the Community Service Trips at http://ngstudentexpeditions.com/destinations/. The Grand Prize winner must meet the Admissions Criteria described in "Judging Criteria and Conditions."
  • Approximate Retail Value ("ARV") of Grand Prize is US$10,000. Winner must coordinate with Sponsor to select a mutually agreed upon departure date in 2015. If winner is unable to travel on the available dates, the prize will be forfeited and Sponsor will select an alternate winner. Travel documents, taxes, personal expenses, and all other items not stated herein are the sole responsibility of the Winner. No prize transfer or assignment by Winner permitted. No cash equivalent will be provided. Sponsor reserves the right to substitute prize in the event of unavailability, in which case an alternative 2015 National Geographic Student Expedition will be awarded. Retail value of Grand Prize may vary depending on fare fluctuations and other variables. Any difference between actual retail value of prize and the ARV will not be awarded.
  • Odds of winning depend on the number of eligible entries received and skill of the entrant.

7. CONDITIONS OF PARTICIPATION: By entering, You agree to be bound by these Official Rules including all eligibility requirements. Use of the Sponsor’s site and Sponsor’s use of information submitted by entrant in connection with this Contest will be subject to the terms and conditions stated in these Official Rules as well as to the Sponsor’s Privacy Policy available on the Sponsor’s website. Entries that have been generated by a script, macro, bot or any other automated means will be deemed void. By accepting a prize, Winners consent to the use of their names, images, likenesses, photos, voices, and biographical materials for advertising, publicity, and promotional purposes by Sponsor, or a party designated by the Sponsor, including but not limited to any online announcements, without additional notice or compensation, except where prohibited by law. You agree that any and all disputes shall be governed by the laws of the state of Massachusetts. You agree that the conditions of submission set forth in these Official Rules, and all documents and agreements incorporated in these Official Rules by reference, solely govern the relationship between entrant and Sponsor in connection with this Contest.

8. COPYRIGHT. All entries submitted to the Contest must be original. You must be the sole owner of any copyright and all other intellectual property rights in and to any entry submitted. Your submission of each entry is your acknowledgement, warranty and guarantee that you are the author, creator and/ or sole owner of copyright(s) and other intellectual property rights in and to the entry submitted. By submitting an entry, you also represent and warrant that the entry does not infringe on the copyright, right of publicity, privacy rights or any other intellectual property or other right of any other persons or entity, that you have secured any and all waivers and permissions necessary with respect to persons and subject matter in the Entry and that you have no submitted the entry to any other contest. You shall retain the copyright to any entry and all other rights thereto EXCEPT: by entering the Contest, you agree to have your submitted entry displayed by Sponsor on Sponsor’s website without any fee or other form of compensation. In addition, you hereby grant an unlimited royalty free license to the Sponsor to copy, display, perform, store, broadcast, distribute or otherwise use your entry for any purpose, potentially including display at a potential exhibition of winners, and publication of a book featuring select entries in the Contest. You also grant the Sponsor unlimited authority to sublicense such rights to any third party, including, but not limited to, affiliated companies or any trade association. You agree that the Sponsor shall have the exclusive right to edit, creative derivative works of, adapt modify and publish your entry and may use it in any media in association with the Contest without attribution or compensation to the you, his or her successors or assignees or any other entity. You agree that the Sponsor will not be liable to you or to any third party for any use, editing, adaptation, modification and/or publication of any entry.

9. LIMITATION OF LIABILITY: YOU HEREBY AGREE TO RELEASE, INDEMNIFY, AND HOLD HARMLESS CENGAGE LEARNING, INC. AND ITS AFFILIATES, SUBSIDIARIES, DIVISIONS, ADVERTISING AND PROMOTION AGENCIES, EMPLOYEES, OFFICERS, DIRECTORS, AND SHAREHOLDERS (COLLECTIVELY, THE "RELEASEES") FROM ANY CLAIMS, ACTIONS, LOSSES, LIABILITIES, COSTS, AND EXPENSES (INCLUDING BUT NOT LIMITED TO ATTORNEYS’ FEES) INJURY, LOSS OR DAMAGE OF ANY KIND (COLLECTIVELY, "CLAIMS"), INCLUDING BUT NOT LIMITED TO, PERSONAL INJURY OR DEATH, RESULTING FROM PARTICIPATION IN THIS CONTEST OR ANY CLAIMS ARISING FROM THE ACCEPTANCE, POSSESSION, OR USE OR MISUSE OF ANY PRIZE AWARDED OR PARTICIPATION IN ANY PRIZE-RELATED ACTIVITY. THIS LIMITATION OF LIABILITY IS A COMPREHENSIVE LIMITATION OF LIABILITY THAT APPLIES TO ALL DAMAGES OF ANY KIND, INCLUDING (WITHOUT LIMITATION) COMPENSATORY, DIRECT, INDIRECT, OR CONSEQUENTIAL DAMAGES; LOSS OF DATA, INCOME, OR PROFIT; LOSS OR DAMAGE TO PROPERTY; AND ANY CLAIMS BROUGHT BY THIRD PARTIES. PARTICIPANTS AGREE THAT SPONSOR HAS NOT MADE NOR IS IN ANY MANNER RESPONSIBLE OR LIABLE FOR ANY WARRANTY, REPRESENTATION, OR GUARANTEE, STATUTORY, EXPRESS OR IMPLIED (INCLUDING BUT NOT LIMITED TO, THE IMPLIED WARRANTIES OF MERCHANTABILITY, TITLE, AND FITNESS FOR A PARTICULAR PURPOSE), IN FACT OR IN LAW, RELATIVE TO THE CONTEST. WITHOUT LIMITING THE GENERALITY OF THE FOREGOING, SPONSOR DOES NOT MAKE ANY EXPRESS OR IMPLIED WARRANTIES OR REPRESENTATIONS WITH RESPECT TO SPONSOR’S SITE AND SPONSOR SHALL NOT BE LIABLE FOR THE CONSEQUENCES OF ANY INTERRUPTIONS OR ERRORS RELATED THERETO. Releases are not responsible for lost, late, illegible, damaged, misdirected, or stolen entries or submissions, or problems of any kind, whether mechanical, technical, human, or electronic. Releases are not responsible for technical, hardware, or software malfunctions, telephone failures of any kind, lost or unavailable network connections, inability to access a website, complete an online entry form, fraud, incomplete, garbled, or delayed computer transmissions, or inaccurate transcription of entry information, whether caused by the Sponsor, by users, or by any of the equipment or programming associated with or utilized in this Contest or by any technical or human error which may occur in the processing of submissions which may damage a user’s system or limit a participant’s ability to participate in the Contest. Entry materials that have been tampered with or altered are void. Sponsor reserves the right, in its sole discretion, to cancel or suspend part or all of this Contest, or modify these Official Rules at any time without notice, if in the Judges’ opinion there is any suspected or actual evidence of electronic or non-electronic tampering with any portion of the Contest, or if virus, bugs, non-authorized human intervention, or other causes corrupt or impair the administration, security, fairness or integrity and proper play of the Contest. In such event, Sponsor may void any entries they suspect are at issue and award prizes from among all eligible entries received up to the date of cancellation. CAUTION: ANY ATTEMPT BY AN YOU OR ANY OTHER INDIVIDUAL TO DELIBERATELY DAMAGE THE WEBSITE OR ANY ONLINE SERVICE RELATED TO THIS CONTEST OR UNDERMINE THE LEGITIMATE OPERATION OF THE CONTEST MAY BE A VIOLATION OF CRIMINAL AND CIVIL LAWS AND SHOULD SUCH AN ATTEMPT BE MADE, THE SPONSOR RESERVES THE RIGHT TO SEEK DAMAGES (INCLUDING ATTORNEYS’ FEES) FROM ANY SUCH PERSON TO THE FULLEST EXTENT PERMITTED BY LAW, INCLUDING CRIMINAL PROSECUTION. Sponsor’s failure to enforce any term of these Official Rules shall not constitute a waiver of that or any other provision. Sponsor reserves the right to disqualify entrants who violate the rules or interfere with this Contest in any manner. If an entrant is disqualified, Sponsor reserves the right to terminate that entrant’s eligibility to participate in the Contest. Any attempts by an individual to access any website associated with this competition via a bot script or other brute force attack or any other unauthorized means will result in the IP address and all entries from that IP address becoming ineligible.

10. All issues and questions concerning the construction, validity, interpretation and enforceability of these Official Rules, or the rights and obligations of the Entrant and Sponsor in connection with the Contest, shall be governed by, and construed in accordance with, the laws of the State of Massachusetts, without giving effect to any choice of law or conflict of law rules, which would cause the application of the laws of any jurisdiction other than the State of Massachusetts.

11. WINNER LIST: The Winner name will be available online at NGL.Cengage.com/APcontest on or about April 7, 2015

AP, Advanced Placement and Pre-AP are registered trademarks of the College Entrance Examination Board, which was not involved in the production of, and does not endorse, these products.