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Rules & Rubric


  • Students must submit a reference page citing at least 3 sources of information with the essay.  (NOTE: Wikipedia cannot be cited as a reference.)

  • The Research Essay maximum word count is 1000 words. Word count does not include the title and reference list, but does include captions of graphics and illustrations.  A maximum of 4 graphics/illustrations are allowed.

Competition Scoring

Teams can earn up to 60 points for their Research Essay. Make sure students have thoroughly covered the six categories to maximize points.


  • 6 points

    Define the Problem

  • 15 points

    Specs and Solution

  • 6 points

    Understand Engineering Roles

  • 15 points

    Judge Assessment of Solution

  • 18 points

    Writing Skills

  • 60 total points

Scoring Deductions

- 5 points

Late work is accepted but with a slight penalty.

- 2 points

A missing or incomplete Research Essay Form.

- 10 points

Count carefully—10 points will be deducted for exceeding the 1,000 word count limit.