Release Date: May 16, 2016
Washington, DC, May 16, 2016 – The National Academy of Engineering today announced the winners of its 2016 EngineerGirl national essay competition. This year’s national contest asked students in grades three to 12 to describe a technology and the improvements it could provide in at least one of the four areas of engineering responsibility: safety, health, well-being, and environmental sustainability. Prizes were awarded to students in three categories based upon grade level.
"It is inspiring to see students exploring the meaning of responsible engineering, for it is a primary concern for engineering in advancing our society,” said NAE President C. D. Mote, Jr.
Gitanjali Rao, a fifth-grader at Edmondson Elementary School in Brentwood, Tennessee, placed first among third- to fifth-grade students for her essay on overcoming barriers to securing cyberspace. Eighth-grader Allison Harry from Durgee Junior High School in Baldwinsville, New York, won first place among entries from grades six to eight for her essay on the potential benefits of a smart bandage. Among ninth- to 12th-graders, Katherine Collins, an 11th-grade student at Newton South High School in Newton, Massachusetts, placed first for her essay on engineered safeguards for synthetic probiotics.
The 2016 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 being given for honorable mentions. Additional winners are listed below:
Grades three to five:
• Second Place: Julia Kincaid, in fifth grade at Brunson Elementary School in Winston Salem, North Carolina, for “Pop Water Into Your Mouth, Literally”
• Third Place: Madeleine Anders, in fourth grade at Lakewood Elementary in Rockville, Maryland, for “Photovoltaic Textiles: Responsible Engineering”
• Honorable Mention: Sofie Fenstermacher, in fourth grade at Puesta Del Sol Elementary in Bellevue, Washington, for “Sleeping Bag Incubator”
Grades six to eight:
• Second Place: Jessie Gan, in seventh grade at San Diego Jewish Academy in San Diego, California, for “Heal My Broken Heart”
• Third Place: Sydney Vernon, in seventh grade at Open Window School in Bellevue, Washington, for “The Veggie: One Giant Leap”
• Honorable Mention: Madelyn Heaston, a home-schooled sixth-grader in Issaquah, Washington, for “Wearable Sensor Engineering Technology”
• Honorable Mention: Annie Stewart, in seventh grade at Harpeth Hall School in Nashville, Tennessee, for “Evaluating the Ethics of the Modular Artificial Reef Structure”
Grades nine to 12:
• Second Place: Clio Holman, in 11th grade at The Ann Richards School for Young Women Leaders in Austin, Texas, for “Engineering a Cure for Cancer: Opportunities, Challenges, and Responsibilities”
• Third Place: Richa Gupta, in 11th grade at The International School Bangalore in Banglore, India, for “The Ascent of the Fuel Cell Vehicle”
• Honorable Mention: Goutam Gadiraju, in 11th grade at the Thomas Jefferson Classical Academy in Shelby, North Carolina, for “Engineering Principles in Thorium Nuclear Fission Reactors”
• Honorable Mention: Amy-Doan Vo, in ninth grade at Westwood High School in Austin, Texas, for “The Curly Solution to Water Wastage”
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 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.