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Mon, May 15, 2017
The National Academy of Engineering today announced the winners of its 2017 EngineerGirl national essay competition. This year’s contest asked students in grades 3 to 12 to pick an animal ranked by the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) as vulnerable, endangered, or critically endangered. Students were then asked to write about how engineering might improve life for that species. Prizes were awarded to students in three categories based on grade level.
“Students’ devotion to protecting endangered animals is always inspiring to me, and their doing so through engineering, which is about solving problems of people and society, is doubly so. Congratulations to the winners!” said NAE President C. D. Mote, Jr.
Among 3rd- to 5th-grade students, Meera Murthy, a 5th-grader at Kingsley Montessori School in Boston, Massachusetts, placed first for her essay on building solar-powered tents for Galapagos penguins. Sixth-grader Becca Maddox, from Pizitz Middle School in Vestavia Hills, Alabama, won first place among entries from grades 6 to 8 for her essay on protecting whooping cranes from deadly collisions with power lines and wind turbines by creating a sprayable liquid rubber compound that cranes can see and avoid. Among 9th- to 12th-graders, Carolyn Frank, an 11th-grade homeschooling student of Farmington, Maine, placed first for her essay on stopping sea turtles from consuming plastic bags by creating a water-soluble plastic film that dissolves in salt water.
The 2017 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:
Grades 6 to 8:
Grades 9 to 12:
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% 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.