Sustainability Essay Contest

The Applied/GRAITEC Sustainability Scholarship Program is an achievement-based scholarship awarded to students in their last two years of high school. Students are recognized for their ability to grasp sustainability in the construction industry, develop research skills to comprehend and address significant problems, demonstrate creative thinking for solutions, and consider the challenges in implementing the

April 2024 – October 2024

Empowering Young Innovators

The Applied/GRAITEC Sustainability Scholarship Program empowers young innovators attending a high school in the US.

Students with the most compelling essays on innovative and sustainable solutions can win scholarships ranging from $250 to $1,500 based on their performance.

More about the 2023 winners


UNITED STATES: Scholars are selected based on achievement. Award amounts range from $250 to $1,500, based on whether they secure the first, second, or third position.

CANADA: Scholar is selected based on achievement. The highest score will receive a check for $1,000 and their corresponding High School will receive a donation of $500 toward a technology innovation program or similar initiative.


  • Currently enrolled high school/home-schooled students attending school in Canada, or one of the 50 U.S. states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, or select DoD schools who will graduate high school during the 2023-2024 or 2024-2025 academic school year.
  • Expecting to receive high school diploma during current academic year.
  • Planning to pursue a degree at an accredited U.S. post-secondary institution.
  • Able to verify a minimum overall B/3.0 GPA in high school coursework.
High School Sustainability Essay Contest | Applied Software, GRAITEC Group

Suggested Areas of Focus

We are sharing several prompts to choose from and inspire you, but don’t limit your thinking to only these ideas.

  1. The AEC industry needs more bright minds to develop buildings of the future.
    Where is the greatest need for additional workers? Is it on construction sites, in engineering and design firms, or in facility management? What advantages or aspects of these jobs would interest students to pursue these careers? How would YOU get your friends interested in learning more about careers in Sustainable Construction?
  2. Schools: What’s the environmental impact of your high school? Or all the facilities in your entire school district. How can your school lower its/their impact? Water, waste, and energy reduction? Solar panels on the roof?
  3. There’s probably a lot of new commercial construction in your area. How does it impact your community and can it be done differently to reduce negative impacts? What environmental changes are happening? Removing the natural environment, replacing fields and trees with hardscapes like buildings and paved areas that don’t absorb rainwater?
  4. Sustainable construction technology is advancing quickly. What’s one product or group of products that haven’t been updated to meet cleaner environmental standards? What product is ripe for innovation? Why is it impactful and what’s the upside to changing it? How would you make it better?
  5. Come up with your own idea! Just be sure you follow the 4 required sections and focus on a problem or opportunity within Architecture, Design, Engineering, Construction, or Facility Management and how advances in sustainability measures could solve it.

How to Enter

Enter your information in the form below to begin entering the contest and get important reminders about contest news.