November 15, 2022
The USS Constitution Museum invites students in grades 9–12 to celebrate the spirit of “Old Ironsides” and describe in their own words how its mission as America’s “Ship of State” can apply to their lives. The first-prize winner of the USS Constitution Essay Contest will have the chance to join USS Constitution on a cruise in Boston Harbor in 2023.
Throughout Constitution’s history, its captains and crew captured their thoughts by writing about the ship’s operations and their experiences. From the launch of Constitution in 1797 to its fame in the War of 1812 to its first female captain in 2022, the crew understood the ship’s role as inspirational “ambassador” and representative of our country, democracy, and freedom.
A few times a year, Constitution embarks on a cruise around Boston Harbor, where the magnificent sight of the ship setting sail continues to inspire people around the world. Called a “turnaround,” the occasion is typically marked by a public lottery to win a highly coveted spot on the ship. This year the USS Constitution Museum wants to give this opportunity to a deserving high school student.
The contest is open to any high school student from a public, private, parochial, or home school. The student simply needs to write an essay imagining if they were a “Ship of State”: What would their mission be, and how could they live out that mission? What would this responsibility mean for how they live—leading themselves and setting an example for others?
Three monetary prizes will be awarded: first prize, $500; second prize, $250; third prize, $100. The first-place winner will also receive an invitation to a 2023 Turnaround Cruise on USS Constitution in Boston, Massachusetts.
Deadline: Students’ essays are due by February 28, 2023.