EngineerGirl Announces 2018 “Community Infrastructure” Essay Contest Winners


Tue, May 15, 2018

Washington, DC, United States, May 15, 2018 —

May 15, 2018 -- The National Academy of Engineering today announced the winners of its 2018 EngineerGirl essay competition. This year’s contest asked students in grades 3 to 12 to pick an infrastructure system in their community and write about how the system could be improved. The infrastructure systems were divided into categories: transportation, water treatment, energy, public safety, communication, financial security, health care and recreation. Prizes were awarded to students based on grade level.

“It is always inspiring to see the ideas and solutions young people come up with to fix our infrastructure problems. When you read the essays of these potential future engineers, you can’t help but feel our world will be in good hands. A hearty congratulations to the winners!” said NAE President C. D. Mote, Jr.

Among third- to fifth-grade students, Aditi Gokhale, a third-grader at J. Ackerman Coles Elementary School in Scotch Plains, New Jersey, placed first for her essay on using self-repairing roads to fix the pothole problems in her hometown. Seventh-grader Anvitha Mahankali, from Stoller Middle School in Portland, Oregon, won first place among entries from grades 6 to 8 for her essay on creating sensors to detect bioswale maintenance problems. Among ninth- to 12th-graders, Aditi Misra, an 11th-grader at St. Joseph Secondary School in Mississauga, Ont., placed first for her essay on investing in flywheel energy storage systems in Mississauga to serve the Ontario energy grid.

The 2018 EngineerGirl essay contest was sponsored by Chevron Corp. and the Kenan Institute for Engineering, Technology, and Science. Awards are $500 for first place, $250 for second place, and $100 for third place. Certificates are given for honorable mentions. Additional winners are listed below.

Grades 3 to 5:

• Second Place: Cailyn Kim, in fifth grade at Hunnewell Elementary School in Wellesley, Massachusetts, for “Time Is Ticking”
• Third Place: Sarah Rash, in fourth grade at Ridgeview Elementary School in Bloomington, Minnesota, for “Clearing the Ice Rinks”
• Honorable Mention: Betty Kate Peshette, in fourth grade at Sherwood Forest Elementary in Bellevue, Washington, for “Making Redmond’s Power System Safer and More Reliable”

Grades 6 to 8:

• Second Place: Virginia Callen, in seventh grade at Harpeth Hall, Nashville, Tennessee, for “Smarter Bridges in Music City”
• Third Place: Nicholas Venezia, in sixth grade at the Bay Academy for the Arts and Sciences in Brooklyn, New York, for “Green Energy”
• Honorable Mention: Kylie Masser, in eighth grade at Elizabethtown Middle School in Elizabethtown, Pennsylvania, for “The Solution to Ambulance Delays”

• Honorable Mention: Anisha Parsan, in seventh grade at Fort Settlement Middle School in Sugar Land, Texas, for “The Case for Human Biosolids – An Economical, High Yield Fertilizer”

Grades 9 to 12:

• Second Place: Roshini Balan, in 10th grade at Holton-Arms School, in Bethesda, Maryland, for “Designing Virginia’s Waste Water Treatment Infrastructure for Greater Resilience”
• Third Place: Austin Tran, in ninth grade at Bishop Kenny High School in Jacksonville, Florida, for “Floating Halophytes”
• Honorable Mention: Lasya Balachandran, in 9th grade at the High Technology High School in Lincroft, New Jersey, for “Safeguarding Our Energy Future with the M2-grid”

EngineerGirl is designed for girls in elementary through high school and offers information about various engineering fields and careers, questions and answers, interviews, and other resources on engineering. Surveys of contest participants indicate that 40 percent of girls say they are more likely to consider an engineering career after writing their essay. EngineerGirl is part of the NAE’s ongoing effort to increase the diversity of the engineering workforce.

The mission of the NAE is to advance the well-being of the nation by promoting a vibrant engineering profession and by marshalling the expertise and insights of eminent engineers to provide independent advice to the federal government on matters involving engineering and technology. The NAE is part of the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine, an independent, nonprofit organization chartered by Congress to provide objective analysis and advice to the nation on matters of science, technology, and health.

Brandon  Green
Contact Brandon Green
Communications/Media Specialist
National Academy of Engineering