2009 Imagine That! Engineering Innovation Guidelines

 (The deadline for this contest is past.  Please see our main contest page to see if a current contest for this year has been posted.)

EngineerGirl! – Imagine That! Engineering Innovation

Essay Contest

Have you ever wondered what goes through an engineer’s mind when she is designing a new product? It takes creativity as well as attention to details and design requirements. Often engineers will use an object as an example and then make improvements for safety, function, or attractiveness. Sometimes a design works best when it is simple, and other times it requires complicated calculations.

Try your hand at evaluating your own engineering product. Start by choosing one of the three images below. Then think about the object in the picture

  • What is it? What do you think it might be used for?
  • What are the most important features of the design?
  • What was the engineer’s role in making this product and what engineering principles were used?


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)


How Do I Enter?

Write an essay on one of the three images provided which answers the questions above.   There is no single correct answer so be creative and think carefully about what might be involved in the design process. Be sure to stay within the word limit listed below: 

·          500 words for grades 3-5

·          750 words for grades 6-8

·          1000 words for grades 9-12

Entries must be submitted through the submission form on the EngineerGirl! website and must include all required information.


When Is the Deadline?

Entries must be received by 6:00 p.m. (EST) on March 1, 2009.


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 noted below.

First-place winners will be awarded $500.

Second-place entries will be awarded $250.

Third-place entries will be awarded $100.


What are the Contest Guidelines?

Essays will be judged on the basis of organization, depth of detail, and use of language by the author. You may wish to preview the scorecard for the selection criteria. All essays must be the original work of the author submitting the entry and must not have been published anywhere else. A contestant may enter only one essay. All entries will be read by a panel of judges, whose selections will be final. Entry in the contest grants the NAE non-exclusive rights to publish winning essays in full or in part on the EngineerGirl! website.


Image #1

2009 Contest Image 1





Image #2

2009 Contest Image 2



Image #3

2009 Contest Image 3