EngineerGirl Announces 2023 Writing Contest Winners


Thu, June 15, 2023

Washington, DC, June 15, 2023 —

The National Academy of Engineering announced the winners of its 2023 EngineerGirl Writing Contest. This year’s competition asked students in Grades 3 through 12 to write an essay on how female and/or non-white engineers have contributed to or can enhance engineering’s greatest achievements. Specifically, this year’s contest prompt asked students to choose one of the greatest engineering achievements of the 20th century and explore how these innovations developed in the last century compare to new technologies being developed today. Over 700 submissions were received and prizes were awarded to students based on grade level.

“Congratulations to all 2023 EngineerGirl Writing Contest winners for their captivating stories and essays that truly demonstrate how diverse perspectives enhance the work we do as engineers,” said NAE President John L. Anderson. “These students not only showcased how diversity has greatly contributed to technological innovations in the 20th century, but also showcased how their diverse perspectives will shape the future of engineering.”

Among third to fifth grade students, Shriya Madhavan, a fifth grader at STEM School Highlands Ranch in Highlands Ranch, Colorado, placed first for her essay about “Hedy Lamarr – The Visionary Inventor and Mother of Wi-Fi”. Seventh grader Benjamin Wu from Narrows View Intermediate in University Place, Washington, won first place among entries from sixth to eighth grade students for his essay exploring “Diversity and Inclusion in Engineering: The Impact of Dr. Patricia Bath's Legacy”. Among ninth to 12th graders, Tami Shogbola, a student at Cheltenham Ladies' College in Cheltenham, England, United Kingdom, placed first for her essay titled “The Luxury of Water: To Be or Not To Be”.

Awards for contest winners are $500 for first place, $250 for second place, and $100 for third place. Students awarded an honorable mention receive an EngineerGirl sweatshirt, and all winners receive a certificate. Additional winners are listed below.

Grades three to five:

• Second Place: Modesola Adebayo-Ogunlade, Grade 5 at The Geneva School of Manhattan in New York City, New York for “Dr. Patricia Bath and the laserphaco probe”

• Third Place: Navika Joseph, Grade 5 at Chadbourne Elementary in Fremont, California for “A Cool Invention”

• Honorable Mention: Nethara Mahadanaarachchi, Grade 5 at New Albany Intermediate School in New Albany, Ohio for “Dreams Realized”

• Honorable Mention: Reina Nious, Homeschool in Baltimore, Maryland for “Joy Buolamwini”

Grades six to eight:

• Second Place: Erica Joseph, Grade 6 at Indus International School in Bangalore, Karnataka, India for “Healing through Innovation: Doctors Embracing their Inner Engineer”

• Third Place: Viraj at Carnage Middle School in North Carolina for “A Flying Legacy”

• Honorable Mention: Sahana Ranganathan, Grade 7 at Kealing Middle School in Austin, Texas for “Admiral Grace Hopper: A Reminder of Why Diversity in Engineering is the Future”

Grades nine to 12:

• Second Place: Sara Maltempi, Grade 11 at John F. Kennedy High School in Merrick, New York for
“Arun Cherian: Creating High-Quality Yet Affordable Prosthetics for Amputees in India”

• Third Place: Aneesha Kocharlakota, Grade 9 at American High School for “Using Virtual Reality to Prevent Erb's Palsy”

• Honorable Mention: Nicole Nguyen, Grade 11 at El Capitan High School in Merced, California for
“Going Bananas Over Bioengineering”

EngineerGirl is designed for girls in elementary through high school and offers information about various engineering fields and careers, answers to questions, interviews of engineers, 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.


Sabrina  Steinberg
Contact Sabrina Steinberg
Communications/Media Associate
National Academy of Engineering
Mary  Mathias
Contact Mary Mathias
Program Officer
National Academy of Engineering