2016 – 4th Grade National 4th Place Winner

Joseph Janos Mendenhall, New Hampshire.


Knowledge vs: Imagination - Which has a greater impact on society?

Knowledge and imagination go hand in hand. In my opinion though, only one can win this battle of the brain. I think that one will be imagination.

Imagination is unlimited, while knowledge has a certain capacity. It is like there is a ledge halfway up a cliff, and everything you know is stored on that ledge. No matter the dimensions of the ledge, there will always be more room for things you don’t know, or things to imagine. Another way to define this relationship is by thinking of knowledge as a line segment and imagination as a line. No matter how long the line segment, it is still only part of the line, the line never starting or stopping, the line segment, on the other hand, doing the opposite.

Albert Einstein once said: “I’m enough of an artist to draw freely on my imagination, which I think is more important than knowledge. Knowledge is limited. Imagination encircles the world.” Who wouldn’t take his opinion into account? Benjamin Franklin had a great imagination, and look where we would be without him! We would still have constant fires because there would be no lightning rods. And who could forget George Washington, who probably knew the odds were almost always against him, but imagined us a free country and fought for that dream anyways?

Just look at where we would be without imagination! No cars! No cures! No anything! And especially, no knowledge.

Imagination is key to innovation and creativity. It creates knowledge. And don’t forget that, because that is the most important fact of all.




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