2006 Engineering: Improving Our World Essay Contest

See the Winners


Interested in ideas and people that make a difference?
Have an idea for changing the world? Interested in technology?

Engineering: Improving Our World
Essay Contest

In 500-1000 words tell us how you think engineers have and continue to improve the world. Focus your essay on one of the following topics:

Engineering For Today
What have engineers done to improve the quality of your life today? What in your world have engineers made possible?

Engineering For Tomorrow
What significant technologies will engineers develop by the year 2020? What problems will they solve?



Who Can Enter?
The contest is open to all students in grades 4-9, individuals or teams of up to six students.

Entries will be judged in two divisions:

  • Grades 4-6
  • Grades 7-9

How Do I Enter?
Write an essay of 500 -1000 words describing what an engineer has done for you today or what an engineer will do for you in the future. Entries may be submitted in ONE of the following ways:

  • On-line submission form (available in September)
  • Email attachment to webcontest@nae.edu
  • By regular mail on an IBM formatted 3.5" disk sent to:
        Engineering: Improving our World Essay Contest
        National Academy of Engineering
        500 Fifth Street, NW, Room 1011
        Washington, D.C. 20001
        Unfortunately, we will be unable to return your disk to you.
        Entries submitted as attachments or on disk should be in Rich Text Format (.rtf), but will be accepted in Word or WordPerfect format.

All entries should include the following required information:

    • Name, school name, and current grade*
    • Mailing address and email address*
    • Topic of your essay
    • A statement from a parent, guardian, or teacher indicating that the submitted essay is the original work of the entrant and that the entrant grants NAE the right to publish the essay on the EngineerGirl! website if declared a winner.

When Is the Deadline?
Entries must be received by January 20, 2006.

What do the winners get?
First, second, and third place awards — $200, $100, $50, respectively — will be presented for the top essays in both divisions. Winners will be announced in February, 2006 during Engineers Week on the EngineerGirl! website.

Contest Guidelines:

  • Essays will be judged on the basis of organization, depth of detail, and use of language by the author(s). You may wish to preview the scorecard for the selection criteria.
  • All essays must be the original work of the author(s) 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.

Read a special note to teachers and parents

Check out last year's Save the Dolphin essay contest winners here!

* Personal information is requested from students entering the contest, so that the National Academy of Engineering can contact winners and recognize achievements. This information is not shared with other organizations.