An EngineerGirl Ambassador designs, develops, and implements a project in her local community that will encourage younger girls - particularly those with little access to engineering role models - to think about engineering and engineering careers and give them practical experience in engineering design.
An EngineerGirl Ambassador is a female, U.S. high school student who is actively involved in promoting engineering to younger students in her community. She has participated in engineering-related lessons or activities and is confident about explaining engineering principles to younger students. Ambassadors receive training and support from the National Academy of Engineering (NAE) in collaboration with the Society of Women Engineers (SWE) through the EngineerGirl website.
What kind of projects are suitable for an EngineerGirl Ambassador?
Every community is different, so there are nearly endless variations of projects that you could develop and implement as an EngineerGirl Ambassador. There are two broad categories of projects that would qualify you for consideration.
Facilitate an engineering experience for younger students.
You could organize and host a program for middle and/or upper elementary school students - particularly girls - that will allow them to learn about or experience engineering first-hand. Some examples of this kind of project include:
- Organize an after-school engineering event at an elementary school.
- Work with a local Girl Scout troop to support girls earning badges for designing, programming, or showcasing robots.
- Develop an engineering story event with related activities at a local library.
- Help set-up and coach a team in an engineering competition such as FIRST Lego.
- Establish an “EngineerGirl” club that meets regularly to work on maker projects.
In this type of project, you will be working directly with younger students - particularly girls - to engage them in the engineering design process or in an exploration of engineering careers. It will be important to consider the best ways to support those students. You might also want to think about ways to allow others to build on what you have done and continue the work after you are no longer able to run it.
Create something that promotes engineering and engineering careers to younger students.
You could create something that either engages middle and upper elementary school girls in the engineering design process or can be used by others to help educate younger students about engineering, engineering achievements, careers, or design. Here are just a few examples:
- Create a cooperative game where the goal of the game is for players to go through the engineering design process.
- Develop a video series about engineering in your community that could be used in elementary classrooms to introduce engineering lessons.
- Create an “engineering walk” (similar to a StoryWalk®) in a local park.
- Develop an engineering scavenger hunt that could be implemented as part of after school programs.
- Create project kits that parents or teachers can check out at the local library to guide children through a hands-on engineering experience.
With this type of project, it is extremely important to think about how you engage younger girls in the development, testing, and ultimate use of your creation. Seeing you engaged in the engineering design process can inspire younger students, but involving them in the brainstorming and testing process can do even more. With this type of project, it is also important to consider how the final product can be reproduced or reused by others.
Regardless of whether you facilitate an engineering experience or create something that others can use to do the same, the ultimate goal of your project should be to engage younger girls with the ideas and possibilities of engineering.
How are EngineerGirl Ambassadors selected?
Potential EngineerGirl Ambassadors submit detailed information about their proposed project along with supporting documents. Ambassadors are selected by the EngineerGirl steering committee based on the feasibility, potential impact, and evidence of support for their proposal.
How do I apply?
Start by carefully reading and understanding what is needed for your project proposal and supporting documents. Develop an idea and identify a potential local sponsor that can help you turn it into a successful project. Then create a project proposal, gather supporting documents, and submit your application materials online using the EngineerGirl Ambassador Application Form.
The deadline to submit your application was extended to Monday, March 4, 2019 at 12:00 noon EST. The application is now closed and will be re-opened for 2020-21 in October.
What is a local sponsor?
Your choice of local sponsor is important. This adult believes in your project and can help you implement it.
A sponsor could be a teacher, librarian, scout leader, local engineer, or other adult committed to helping you with this project. If you are facilitating a hands-on experience, your sponsor should ideally be affiliated with the school, library, or other organization where you plan to host the event. A sponsor is there to support you, oversee your work, and help to ensure you will have the resources needed to complete your proposed project.
More information for sponsors can be found here. You may also download a pdf Sponsor Packet to share with potential sponsors.
A local sponsor must agree to work with you to implement your project. Multiple adults may help you with your project, but one person must be designated as the primary sponsor. That sponsor will be invited to travel with you to the SWE Annual Conference to participate in training, although you may travel with a parent or guardian if needed.
What else do I need to know?
Please read the full program Rules and Requirements before applying. These can be read online or downloaded as a pdf document.
If you have questions about the proposal process, please contact us (EngineerGirl@nae.edu). We are here to help!
The Ambassadors Program is made possible by a generous grant from Mr. John F. McDonnell.
Want to help promote the Ambassadors Program in your community? Download one or our PDF flyers to hand out or post.