Essay Contest | Dec 13, 2017

“From Canada’s Lakes to the World”: An essay/video contest for IISD-ELA’s 50th anniversary

UPDATE: This contest has now passed and Danielle Suvanto and Laura Xu were the lucky winners. Danielle made it out to the site in summer 2018 with her dad to explore the world’s freshwater laboratory for herself.

“I am very thankful to IISD-ELA for giving me a chance to explore such an eye-opening matter. They have put in so much to host this event so students can learn how change is possible, and how it starts within each and every one of us.” Laura Xu

“I’m very grateful that this opportunity has allowed me to enhance my knowledge. I was very surprised that there is not a lot of studies/research surrounding this topic.” Danielle Suvanto

Man and female teenager stand in lake with waders, holding fishing nets.

Danielle Suvanto and her dad visited IISD Experimental Lakes Area in the summer of 2018.

Man and female teenager sit on boat, looking at the camera.

Daniella Suvanto and her dad went out on the lakes and learned all about our work.

Female teenager sits on dock of lake looking at the camera.

Danielle Suvanto, along with Laura Xi, was a winner of IISD-ELA’s 2018 essay and video contest.


IISD Experimental Lakes Area is turning 50!

After 50 years of researching fresh water like no other place on earth, the world’s freshwater laboratory is asking Canada’s young people to share what research they think should be done to keep the world’s water clean for the next 50 years and beyond….

We are asking Canadian high school students to write an essay, or shoot a short video, to tell us (1) which issue should be researched next at IISD-ELA; and (2) how we should do that research.

You could win an all-inclusive trip for two to IISD Experimental Lakes Area to learn first-hand how we carry out our unique brand of freshwater research.

Contest Rules


The IISD Experimental Lakes Area “From Canada’s Lakes to the World” essay or video contest is open to residents of Canada who are currently enrolled in Grade 9–12 at a Canadian institution, and are returning to school in the fall of 2018. Students should have a designated teacher to guide them through the process and review the materials before submission.

Contest Period and Entry

To be eligible for the contest, contestants must submit all of the following documents:

Entries must be submitted no later than February 16, 2018, at 11:59 p.m., Central Time.

For more information, and for the complete guidelines and rubric, see below.

  • IISD-ELA essay contest information sheet and rules (PDF)
  • IISD-ELA essay contest entry form (PDF | Word)
  • IISD-ELA essay contest consent and agreement form (PDF | Word)