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EngineerGirl Essay Winners 2018

Self-healing roads and Tick Tock, a Lyme disease-protection wristwatch that not only alerts wearers to the presence of ticks but sprays bug repellent are among the winners of the National Academy of Engineering’s 2018 EngineerGirl essay competition.

This year’s contest asked students in grades 3 to 12 to pick an infrastructure system in their community and write about how the system could be improved. The infrastructure systems were divided into categories: transportation, water treatment, energy, public safety, communication, financial security, health care and recreation. Prizes were awarded to students based on grade level.

“When you read the essays of these potential future engineers, you can’t help but feel our world will be in good hands. A hearty congratulations to the winners!” said NAE President C. D. Mote, Jr.

Designed for girls in elementary through high school, EngineerGirl offers information about various engineering fields and careers, questions and answers, interviews, and other resources on engineering. It is part of the NAE’s ongoing effort to increase the diversity of the engineering workforce. Surveys of essay-contest participants indicate that 40 percent of girls say they are more likely to consider an engineering career after writing their essays.

The 2018 top prize winners in each category, elementary, middle, and high school, were:

  • Aditi Gokhale, a third-grader at J. Ackerman Coles Elementary School in Scotch Plains, N.J., for her essay on using self-repairing roads to fix the pothole problems in her hometown.
  • Seventh-grader Anvitha Mahankali, from Stoller Middle School in Portland, Ore., for her essay on creating sensors to detect bioswale maintenance problems.
  • Aditi Misra, an 11th-grader at St. Joseph Secondary School in Mississauga, Ontario, placed first for her essay on investing in flywheel energy storage systems to serve the Ontario energy grid.

The 2018 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, with certificates for honorable mentions.

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.

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