Important: Please read these rules carefully before entering the Savvas Curriculum Tropical Biology Contest (the "Contest").

To enter the Contest, biology teachers are required to submit an essay of 500 words or less on how his/her experience at the Organization for Tropical Studies in Costa Rica (the "Organization") would change the way he/she teaches biology (the "Essay"). By submitting an Essay, all contestants agree to be bound by these Official Rules.

  1. How To Enter.
    You may enter either by completing an online entry form found at and submitting your Essay electronically there. Any Essay submitted must conform to the essay guidelines as further specified in the Contest forms in order to be eligible. Limit one entry per teacher. Essays that exceed 500 words will not be considered. By submitting an entry, you agree that Savvas shall have the right (but not the obligation) to publish your Essay in its textbooks and in associated publishing material and promotional material.

  2. Eligibility.
    Open to legal U.S. residents, 18 years of age or older at time of entry, who are high school biology teachers educating students in one or more of grades 9–12 at an accredited school in the United States and who comply with the essay guidelines and these Official Rules. Employees of Savvas Learning Company, Inc. and Authors Miller and Levine ("Sponsors") and their parent companies, affiliates, advertising and promotional agencies, manufacturers and their immediate families (parents, children, siblings, spouse) in the same household are not eligible. The prizes will be awarded in accordance with any and all laws, rules and regulations, and eligibility to receive a prize will be in accordance with the written policy, if any, of the winner's employer. Entrants are solely responsible for making sure that an award of the prize would be in compliance with the foregoing. Each winner will be required to execute an Affidavit of Eligibility, a Liability Release and where lawful, Publicity Release ("Winners Affidavit"), together with a Certification of Eligibility by the winner's employer, within seven (7) days of notification. In the event the selected winner does not comply with these requirements, or does not fully and accurately and legibly complete the Winners Affidavit and Certification of Eligibility, or should Sponsors believe that the awarding of the prize would violate any applicable law, rule, regulation or policy, the prize will be forfeited and an alternate winner will be selected from all remaining eligible essays received. Electronic entries must include a valid e-mail address for the entrant. In the event of a dispute as to the identity or eligibility of winner based on an e-mail address, the winning entry will be declared made by the "Authorized Account Holder" of the e-mail address at the time of submission of the entry.

  3. Disclaimer.
    Sponsors and any and all of their respective parent companies, subsidiaries, affiliates, directors, officers, professional advisors, employees, agencies, heirs and assigns will not be responsible for (1) any late, lost, incomplete, misrouted, misdirected, postage due or damaged entries or errors in transmission; (2) any Contest disruptions, injuries, losses or damages caused by events beyond the control of the Sponsors; or (3) any printing or typographical errors in any materials associated with the Contest.

    Sponsors and their agents are not responsible for technical, hardware, software or telephone malfunctions of any kind and shall not be liable for failed, incorrect, incomplete, inaccurate, garbled or delayed electronic communications utilized in this Contest which may limit the ability to participate in the Contest. If for any reason, (including infection by computer virus, bugs, tampering, unauthorized intervention, fraud, technical failures, or any other cause beyond the control of the Sponsors, which corrupts or affects the administration, security, fairness, integrity, or proper conduct of this Contest), the Contest is not capable of being conducted as described in these rules, the Sponsors have the right, in their sole discretion, to modify and/or cancel the Contest.

  4. Contest Period.
    All electronic entries must be received prior to April 20, 2018 11:59 P.M. EST (the "Deadline"). All mail-in entries must be postmarked by April 6, 2018  and received by April 20, 2018 , to be eligible to win a prize.
  5. Selection of Winner.
    Submissions will be forwarded to Ken Miller and Joe Levine with the final selection of the winning essays to be made by them on or about April 20, 2018 . The winning essays will be evaluated and judged by Kenneth Miller and Joe Levine based on their personal judgment of the essays with respect to a combination of the following factors: basic writing ability, creativity, relevance to core curriculum contents and national standards, and discussion of the challenge of teaching about the process of science. The Contest winners will be contacted by Joe and/or Ken by phone, and officially notified by e-mail shortly after the selection of the winners.

  6. Prizes.
    Winners will receive a Grand Prize 16 day/15 night scholarship in July of 2018 . Each Grand Prize consists of, for one person, round trip coach air transportation from a major airport near winner's home to the Juan Santa Maria International Airport in San José, Costa Rica, and stay over one night at a hotel in San José, Costa Rica. Winners will then be transferred via charter bus to the La Selva Field Station at the Organization, where he/she will participate in 8 days/9 nights of field research, exploration, and instruction in video production. Winners will then be transferred via charter bus to the Arenal Observatory Lodge for 2 days/1 night, including an exploratory walk in Arenal Volcano National Park and visit to Tabacon Hot Springs and exploration of cloud forest canopy at Hanging Bridges of Arenal. Winners will then be transferred by charter bus to the Soltis Center field station run by Texas A&M University, where he/she will participate in 5 days/4 nights of research and exploration of tropical biology concepts, video workshops, and discussions about inquiry and problem-based teaching of the type recommended by NGSS. Winners will then be transferred by charter bus to a hotel in San José for one night, and then travel home from Juan Santa Maria International Airport. All local accommodations, meals and tuition will be provided. Cab fare between Juan Santa Maria International Airport and hotels (roughly $25 US each way), and alcoholic beverages are NOT included. The approximate retail value of each prize is $3,200 with actual value depending on city of departure. Limit one prize per person. Winner must take trip during the dates specified by the Organization or winner forfeits the prize. Dates are subject to change. Winner is solely responsible for any and all meals, transportation between winner's residence and major commercial airport of departure, ground transportation, luggage, supplies, immunizations, gratuities, upgrades, personal incidentals and any other expenses not specified herein. Travel is subject to availability and other restrictions and blackout dates may apply. If the actual value turns out to be less than the stated ARV above, the difference will not be awarded in cash. ALL FEDERAL, STATE AND LOCAL TAXES ASSOCIATED WITH THE RECEIPT OR USE OF ANY PRIZES ARE THE SOLE RESPONSIBILITY OF THE WINNER.

    If either grand prize is not claimed within 7 days after notification of the prize award, it will be forfeited and awarded to an alternate winner. Prizes are not transferable in whole or in part. No substitutions or exchanges (including for cash) of any prizes will be permitted, except that Sponsors reserve the right to substitute a prize of equal or greater value for any prize that becomes unavailable. All prizes are awarded "AS IS" and WITHOUT WARRANTY OF ANY KIND, express or implied (including, without limitation, any implied warranty of merchantability or fitness for a particular purpose). In the event a winner engages during the trip in behavior that (as determined by Sponsor in Sponsor's sole discretion) is threatening, illegal, obnoxious or that is intended to annoy, abuse, threaten or harass any other person, Sponsor reserves the right to terminate the trip early, in whole or in part, and send the winner home with no further compensation.

  7. Medical Precautions; General Release.
    All Entrants acknowledge that, depending on local conditions in Costa Rica at the time of travel, winner is likely to be required and/or recommended medical precautions (vaccinations, prophylactic medication, etc.) as determined by the Centers for Disease Control, local hospital travel clinics, and/or OTS. Entrant agrees to review such recommendations, and to take all required and recommended medical precautions, taking into account his/her individual health circumstances if he/she wins. Entrant understands that some vaccinations may need to be administered, and courses of medication may need to be initiated specific lengths of time before the trip begins, and might need to be maintained during, and for a period of time after the trip ends. By applying, Entrant agrees to cover any expenses incurred in obtaining such necessary medical precautions and to assume all risk and liability in connection therewith.

    All entrants acknowledge that there may be risks inherent in the Contest and preparation for use and use of the Prize. By entering the Contest, all entrants release the Sponsors and any of their respective parent companies, subsidiaries, affiliates, directors, officers, employees, agents, heirs and assigns (collectively, the "Released Parties") from any liability whatsoever, and waive any and all causes of action, for any claims, costs, injuries, losses, or damages of any kind arising out of or in connection with the Contest or resulting from acceptance, possession, preparation for or use or misuse of any prize including, without limitation, personal injuries, death, property damage, and claims based on publicity rights, defamation, invasion of privacy, defamation, portrayal in a false light, copyright infringement, patent infringement, trademark infringement and merchandise delivery.

  8. Ownership of Entries.
    All Essays and entries, irrespective of whether they are a winning entry, become the property of Savvas Learning Company, Inc. and will not be acknowledged or returned. Without limiting the foregoing, by entering, all entrants shall be deemed to have transferred and assigned to Savvas Learning Company, Inc., its respective successors and assigns, absolutely and forever, all right, title and interest (including copyrights and other intellectual property rights) in and to their Essays, including the right to edit, modify and prepare derivative works based upon the Essay, and to display, reproduce, transmit and deliver the Essay in and by any and all media now in existence or hereafter discovered or devised throughout the world in perpetuity. Entrants agree to execute any and all documents requested by Savvas Learning Company, Inc. to effectuate its rights described in this paragraph. Entrants hereby irrevocably and unconditionally waive any and all moral rights or any rights of similar nature under any law in any jurisdiction in and to any and all elements of the Essay. Entrants represent and warrant to Savvas Learning Company, Inc. that (i) any Essay submitted are the original creation of entrant; (ii) Savvas Learning Company, Inc.'s use of such Essay as contemplated in these rules will not violate the rights of any third party; (iii) entrant owns all right, title and interest in and to the Essay; and (iv) that the Essay has not previously won a prize in a national contest or has not previously been published in a national publication.

  9. Use of Winner's Information.
    Except where prohibited by law, acceptance of a prize constitutes permission to use the winner's name, picture or likeness, school and school district name, state of residence, and prize information, without limitation, for advertising and promotional purposes without further permission or compensation.

  10. Rules Request.
    To obtain a copy of these rules, send a stamped, self-addressed business-size envelope to Savvas at the address listed below:

    Attn: Tropical Biology Contest
    Savvas Curriculum
    501 Boylston St, Suite 900
    Boston, MA, 02116

  11. Copyright Notice.
    The Contest and all accompanying materials are copyright ©2014 by Savvas Learning Company, INC.

  12. Miscellaneous.
    The Contest will be governed, construed and interpreted under the laws of the United States and the State of New York. Prizes will be awarded in accordance with any and all laws, rules and regulations (including but not limited to laws, rules or regulations at the state, municipal or local level), and in accordance with the written policy, if any, or certified consent of the winner's employer. Entrants are solely responsible for making sure that an award of the prize would be in compliance with the all of the foregoing. By participating in the Contest, entrants agree (i) to be bound by these Official Rules and by the decisions of Kenneth Miller and Joe Levine which are final and binding in all respects and (ii) to the use of the information supplied by entrant by Savvas Learning Company, Inc., its subsidiaries and affiliates within Savvas Learning Company, Inc. and certain websites affiliated with Savvas Learning Company, Inc. for marketing and advertising purposes. Entrants who violate these Official Rules, tamper with the operation of the Contest or engage in any conduct that is detrimental to the Sponsors, the Contest or any other entrant (as determined in Sponsor's sole discretion) are subject to disqualification. Winners must also possess the required travel documents (e.g. a valid passport, etc.) and other travel requirements prior to travel or his/her prize may be awarded to an alternate winner. Sponsors reserve the right to reject entry forms from persons whose eligibility is in question or who have been disqualified or are otherwise ineligible to enter the Contest. If you have any questions about these Official Rules or the Contest, please send written questions to Tropical Biology Contest, Savvas Curriculum, 501 Boylston St, Suite 900, Boston, MA, 02116

  13. Winner's Name.
    To obtain the name of the winner after April, 2018 , send a self-addressed, stamped envelope to Tropical Biology Contest, C/O Savvas Curriculum, 501 Boylston St, Suite 900, Boston, MA, 02116, or go to to

  14. Contest Sponsors.
    The sponsors of the Contest are the Savvas Curriculum Group of Savvas Learning Company, Inc., located at 501 Boylston St. Suite 900, Boston, MA, 02116, and Kenneth Miller and Joseph Levine.