EngineerGirl Announces 2015 “Engineering in Sports” Essay Contest Winners


Tue, June 16, 2015

Washington, DC, June 16, 2015 —

The National Academy of Engineering today announced the winners of its 2015 EngineerGirl national essay competition. This year’s national contest asked students in grades three to 12 to describe the engineering behind a technology used in playing, scoring, or training for a chosen sport. Prizes were awarded to students in three categories based upon grade level.

“Engineering determines the way we live, spanning our health and safety to enjoying our favorite activities,” said NAE President C. D. Mote, Jr. “This year’s essay contest submissions showcased brilliantly the wide-ranging impacts of engineering contributions to our happiness.”

Abby Mauer, a fifth-grader at Sacred Heart of Jesus Catholic School in Shawnee, Kansas placed first among third- to fifth-grade students for her essay on improving volleyball through engineering. Seventh-grader Rebecca Yermish from Frances S. DeMasi Middle School in Marlton, New Jersey, won first place among entries from grades six to eight for her essay describing the roles of design and manufacturing/process engineers in developing arrows for archery. Among ninth- to 12th-graders, Isabelle Breier, an 11th-grade student at Hopkins School in New Haven, Connecticut, placed first for her explanatory essay about engineering innovation in ballet shoes.

Read all of the essays.

Awards are $500 for first place, $250 for second place, and $100 for third place. Certificates are being given for honorable mentions. Additional winners are listed below:

Grades three to five:

• Second Place: Sahana Mantha, in fifth grade at Providence Day School in Charlotte, North Carolina, for “Engineering in Sports”
• Third Place: Nancy Bracht-Bedell, in fifth grade at Cascade Elementary School in Cascade, Idaho, for “Climbing Rope”
• Honorable Mention: Arnav Shah, in fourth grade at Wass Elementary in Troy, Michigan, for “Football Helmets: Saving Lives Everyplay”
• Honorable Mention: Evan McCabe, in fourth grade at Cincinnati Hills Christian Academy in West Chester, Ohio, for “Engineering Ankle Braces to Help Prevent Basketball Injuries”

Grades six to eight:

• Second Place: Sofia Tomov, a home-schooled sixth-grader in Knoxville, Tennessee, for “Face-to-Face With the Future of Fencing”
• Third Place: Vishnu Murthy, in eighth grade at Rachel Carson Middle School in Fairfax, Virginia, for “Silver, Sports, and Socks: A Solution”
• Honorable Mention: Sarah Parks, in seventh grade at Harpeth Hall School in Nashville, Tennessee, for “Sweeping Away the Competition”
• Honorable Mention: Dana Surwil, in sixth grade at Leadership Academy of Nevada in Henderson, Nevada, for “Sprung Dance Floors”

Grades nine to 12:

• Second Place: Sofia Tijanic, in 12th grade at Father Bressani High School in Vaughan, Ontario, for “Thera-Band: What and Why?”
• Third Place: Allison Winter, in tenth grade at Paul D. Schreiber High School in Port Washington, New York, for “Hold the Straight Edges, I'll have the Sidecuts: Engineering and Skis
• Honorable Mention: Madison Wood, in 12th grade at St. Johnsbury Academy in Concord, Vermont, for “The Development of Frangible Technology for the Prevention of Rotational Falls in Equestrian Cross Country”

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. A survey of contest participants indicated that 63 percent of girls were more likely to consider an engineering career after writing their essay. EngineerGirl and Engineer Your Life, a website for academically prepared high school girls, are part of the NAE's ongoing efforts 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 (along with the National Academy of Sciences, the Institute of Medicine, and the National Research Council), an independent, nonprofit organization chartered by Congress to provide objective analysis and advice to the nation on matters of science, technology, and health.


Nicole Flores
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