by Alison Bick of Short Hills NJ
Third Place (grades 7-9)
I woke up with a start. Running full speed to my computer, I turned it on impatiently and began to type. The thought that had disturbed my sleep had come to my mind at last. This of course was the "Engineering: improving our world essay." For weeks, I had researched engineering starting with the past and learned that all Seven Wonders of the World existed because of engineers. I researched what engineers did today and found they affect everything from the food I eat, to the plane I took to visit my grandma in Pittsburgh and from the computer I type on; to the ball I kick at soccer practice. All of my research was interesting, but it had all been written about too many times. Last night it came to me, like Archimedes, an engineer of ancient Greece, Eureka! I dreamed what to write. I decided to write about dream engineering, my term for engineering in the future.
This past night, I dreamt of eating some cheerios with milk. As I sat there, eating my cereal an ad popped up for Tropicana Orange Juice.
"Egads!" I had exclaimed, "How did they do that?"
Lo and behold standing next to me were three men in lab coats, who turned out to be engineers. The first man stepped forward and said," I am a packaging engineer. I made the box that not only keeps your cereal fresh it also contains a transceiver that communicates with the pieces of cereal to make the ad pop up. The next man stepped forward. He told me, "I'm a food engineer and I designed machinery that inserts biodegradable transceivers in each piece of cereal so the ad popped up."
"I am a communication engineer," the last man explained, "I got the advertisement to the cereal box by managing the data flow from the advertiser's internet site to the box."
I was about to ask, "What schools teach this advanced information?" when my dream was interrupted by a commercial for an iPod. It was extraordinary.
I said to myself, "How could anyone stop my dream like that with a commercial?"
Just as the last word tumbled out of my mouth, three white coat men stood before me again. One of them, the communication engineer, I recognized but the other two I did not.
The communication engineer from my last dream segment stepped forward, "You must remember me from before," he boomed.
"Yes of course I remember. you are the communication engineer," I said.
"Yep. Well I organized the data so it would flow to a transceiver in your brain so the dream would have an advertisement."
The next two engineers stepped forward together. "I am a bio chemical engineer and this is my friend who is an electrical engineer," the man closer to me said.
"What we did was we teamed up to make a transmitter that accepts the data from the communication engineer. The biochemical engineer," the electrical engineer told me, "made a transmitter that would not harm the human body. I made the electrical current flow smoothly through the brain not harming the brain cells. So that is how we made the ad pop up."
From these three engineers I began to ask, "How does the electrical current flow in to you brain without harming the person?" but like all good dreams I woke up right before I could ask.
Here I am now, typing and trying to save my thoughts. Maybe my dreams were not just thoughts. Maybe in my dreams I did see a glimpse of the future. I hope that I will see in a few years if my dream becomes a reality or maybe I will become an engineer and make these small thoughts reality.