Questions and Answers - Contest 2012

EngineerGirl Contest 2012 - Frequently Asked Questions

These questions have been submitted by website visitors.  If you have a question please check here to see if it has already been answered.  If you have a question that is not answered here, please email us at


Can boys enter the contest?
Yes, the contest is open to both boys and girls.

Should I use my age or my grade in determining under which age group to enter?
Use your current grade to determine the appropriate group.  The ages are given as a guide for home-schooled students or others with non-traditional schooling to help determine the appropriate grade.

Can students from Canada or other countries enter the contest?
Yes, the contest is open to students from countries outside of the US.  However students must make an effort to be sure they enter in the appropriate grade category, and all essays will be held to the same standards, even if the student is not a native English speaker.

Do the references cited at the end of the essay count toward the final word limit?
No. References should be included if you have them, and they will not be counted against the final word limit.

Are students allowed to quote from a reference, and if so, will that quote count towards final word limit?
Students may use a quote from a source if it is referenced. If the quote is part of the total essay, it will count toward the word limit.

What format should I use for my references?
Students may use any citation format, as long as it's consistent.

Does the title count toward final word limit?
No, the title will not count against the word limit.

Does the food product have to be researched as a commercial process or can it be researched as a homemade product?
The rules are not specific in this regard, so the student should use her/his own judgment.  Keep in mind that this is an engineering essay so submissions that do not explain anything about how an engineer would be involved will not be ranked highly.

Is there a minimum word count?
No. There is no minimum on the number of words. Students only need to use enough words to adequately address the essay topic.

If I accidentally submitted my essay before I was ready, can I submit it again?
If you were not finished with your essay and would like to submit it again, that would be fine. We will take the last submitted essay from any individual as her/his contest entry.

Do I need my parent's consent at the time of the essay submission?  
Winning essays will be published on the EngineerGirl! website. Therefore, we need the winners to complete a publication agreement to confirm that the essay is an original work and grant us the right to publish the essay online. Only the finalists will be asked to fill out and return the publication agreement in order to advance to the final round of judging.

Can my essay be written in a story format?
Yes, students may write the essay in any format, including the story format.

Am I only limited to those foods listed on the website or can I choose another food?
Students are required to choose a food from the list on the website.