Essay Contest for Middle and High School Students!


Please visit the EngineerGirl! site for further details

Contest Description

Flood, famine, earthquake, tsunami, oil spill, blackout, building collapse, mining accident, wildfire, hurricane, tornado, terrorist attack—all have been headline news in recent years. Disasters, both natural and man-made, can take many forms. Every disaster presents unique challenges and requires fast and decisive action to save lives and limit damages. Engineers are involved in designing many products specifically for use in disaster zones such as portable medical equipment, oil skimmers, or basic shelters. Identify an item designed specifically for use in disaster relief, and then do some research on it to write your essay.

Grades 3-5: (No more than 500 words)

Describe an item that is used for disaster relief. Explain how it works. Point out key elements of the design and why it was designed that way.

Grades 6-8: (No more than 750 words)

Describe an item that is used for disaster relief. Explain how it works. Point out key elements of the design and why it was designed that way. Describe how different types of engineers (e.g. civil, mechanical, electrical, etc.) might have contributed to the final design of this product.

Grades 9-12: (No more than 1500 words)

Describe an item that is used for disaster relief. Explain how it works. Point out key elements of the design and why it was designed that way. Describe how different types of engineers (e.g. civil, mechanical, electrical, etc.) might have contributed to the final design of this product. Discuss the constraints designers faced in the creation of this product and potential changes/improvements needed if it were used in a different disaster relief scenario. Be sure to include your references.

Contest Guidelines

Who can enter?

The contest is open to individual girls and boys in each of three categories (Choose your category by grade-level unless you are unsure of your grade):

3rd grade to 5th grade (Ages 8-11)

6th grade to 8th grade (Ages 12-14)

9th grade to 12th grade (Ages 15-18)

If you are a prior winner and have received a cash prize from EngineerGirl! in any of the above grade categories, you may not enter again in the same age group.

How Do I Enter?

Write an essay which addresses the requirements in the contest description. Essays should be written clearly. They may be shorter than, but should not exceed, the word limit listed in the contest description. Submit your essay through the Online Submission Form on the EngineerGirl! website, and include all required information.

When Is the Deadline?

Entries must be received by 6:00 p.m. (EST) on March 1, 2011.

What are the Awards?

All winning entries will be published on the EngineerGirl! website. (Please review our publication agreement before you submit your essay.) In addition, all winners will receive the prizes listed below:

First-place winners will be awarded $500.

Second-place entries will be awarded $250.

Third-place entries will be awarded $100.

Honorable Mention entries will not receive a cash reward but will be published on the EngineerGirl! website.