2019 Ambassador Rules & Regulations

Download Rules and Requirements

Please read these requirements carefully before submitting an application or sponsor support statement to participate in the EngineerGirl Ambassadors Program offered by the National Academy of Engineering. 

Acceptance of and compliance with these requirements is required for participation in the program, either as an Ambassador or as a Sponsor.


Ambassadors: Selected Ambassadors in the EngineerGirl Ambassadors program must be female and live in the United States. They must be at least 14 years of age, and enrolled in grades 9-12 for the 2019-2020 school year.

EngineerGirl Ambassadors will design, develop, and implement a project in their 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. They will work with local sponsors and receive guidance and support from EngineerGirl staff.

Sponsors: A local sponsor is an adult, at least 18 years of age, who believes in the student and her proposed project and can help her implement her proposal. This person could be a teacher, librarian, scout leader, local engineer, or other adult committed to helping the ambassador with her project. If the student is facilitating a hands-on experience, the sponsor should ideally be affiliated with the school, library, or other organization hosting the event. Sponsors support students, oversee their work to make sure events are safe and effective, and help to ensure the student will have the resources needed to complete her proposed project.

At least one local sponsor must agree to work with each Ambassador to implement her project. Multiple adults may help a student, but one should be designated as the primary sponsor for purposes of communication with the National Academy of Engineering. Primary sponsors will be invited to attend the EngineerGirl Ambassador training program with the Ambassador at the Society of Women Engineers (SWE) national conference in November. (Attendance at the conference is not required for a sponsor, but is highly recommended.) Sponsors will have access to EngineerGirl staff throughout the year and may be asked to participate in conference calls or other events.

Exclusions: Employees of the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine and their immediate families or those living in the same household as a National Academies employee are not eligible to serve as an Ambassador or as a Sponsor in this program.

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Ambassadors: An EngineerGirl Ambassadorship is a unique year-long opportunity to build leadership skills, meet new people, make a difference in your community, and help promote engineering along the way. Each Ambassador receives:

  • An all-expenses-paid trip for the student and a chaperone to the 2019 SWE Annual Conference in Anaheim, CA, November 7-9, 2019.
  • Project funding of up to $250.
  • Leadership development and membership in a community of like-minded young women from around the country.
  • A certificate and letter of recognition from the National Academy of Engineering that may be sent with college applications.
  • A free one year SWE membership upon acceptance to a university engineering program.

Alumni Ambassadors may continue to participate in the private community and may be invited to participate in other activities over time.

Sponsors: Participation as a sponsor with the EngineerGirl Ambassadors program is an opportunity to make a lasting difference in the life of a student and her community. Sponsors may receive training or professional development via interaction with NAE staff and attendance at the SWE annual conference. Sponsors will be encouraged to attend the SWE conference with the Ambassador (See travel information below.) While no cash awards are guaranteed for an Ambassador sponsor, special recognition and other rewards may be provided at the end of the year of service.

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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 design projects.

In this type of project, you will be working directly with younger students - particularly girls - to engage them in the engineering design process and/or in an exploration of engineering careers. It will be important to consider the best ways to support those students. You should also 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 (sustainability).

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 (sustainability).

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.

Important Note: Projects do not have to end in in the ambassador's year of service. In fact, we would love to see you start a sustainable program that can continue for many years! However, Ambassadors will need to report on their progress and show evidence of meeting their goals by August of 2020 so think about how you can structure your work to show evidence of your success by the end of your year of service.

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Proposal Criteria

The Ambassador's project proposal must be submitted through the application form. The “You and Your Project” section contains the main elements of the proposal. For clarity and efficiency, Ambassadors should develop answers to the following questions before submitting an application:

Need — Why is your project needed in your community and who will you invite to participate? (< 300 words)
This section should establish why this project is needed in your community. What resources already exist, and what is lacking? Make sure you describe which girls will participate in your program or be reached through your resources. Why are those girls in particular, in need of this project? Specifically mention if you are targeting a group that is under-represented in engineering.
An excellent proposal will describe how your project fills a need for specific youth in your local community.

Objectives — What are your objectives, or in other words, how will your program change or influence what girls think, say, and/or do? (< 200 words)
State specifically what you intend to do to address the need described above. Describe how you expect participants or users will be different because of your efforts. How will you make a difference? Please be as concise as possible.
An excellent proposal will explicitly state what the program would achieve, and why the methods chosen will influence youth.

Project — How do you plan to meet your objectives? (< 500 words)
Describe what you intend to do in more detail. This section should give you room to answer the questions that readers may have about your intended project.
An excellent proposal will describe the activities you will do to accomplish your goals. Providing as much detail as possible will help reviewers understand HOW you plan to meet your objectives, above.

Timeline — Please describe your project timeline. Explain roughly when any major events will happen. (< 150 words)
Give readers an idea of when your project will begin and end along with major dates along the way. You do not need specific dates, but a general idea of timing is important. Give as much detail as you are able, but do not worry if you don’t have exact dates planned out.
An excellent proposal will give an estimated timetable for events or activities that appears reasonable to achieve over the course of the year as an Ambassador (Sept 2019-Aug 2020).

Partners — What other organizations or people will be helping you with this project, and how will they help? (< 250 words)
Some projects will require cooperation from other programs, school leaders, and community organizers. If you will need this type of cooperation, please indicate why, and what steps you have taken or plan to take to involve them. This may include access to space, materials, and potential participants.
An excellent proposal will name and describe partners you plan to incorporate into your project and any initial communication you have had with them about your idea.

Recruitment — How do you plan to recruit participants and/or users? (< 150 words)
How will you reach girls to encourage them to participate in this program or use your resources? How do you know you will reach girls that are most in need of experiences in engineering?
An excellent proposal will show you have a practical, multi-method plan for reaching your potential participants/users.

Budget — What is your estimated budget for this project and where will you get your funding? (< 150 words)
All EngineerGirl Ambassadors will receive $250 for materials and supplies. Please describe how you will use these funds. If you need more funds, please describe how you will get the money.
An excellent proposal will show an understanding of costs associated with planned activities.

Fields — What specific field(s) or area(s) of engineering, if any, will be the focus of your project? (< 50 words)
Projects may focus on one field of engineering (e.g., biomedical engineering) or a variety of fields.
An excellent proposal will name one or more fields of engineering you intend to include.

Your engineering story — What makes you a great fit for this program? (< 250 words)
Use this section to tell us what sparked your interest in engineering. What would make you a great EngineerGirl Ambassador? What experiences have you had that have prepared you to support younger girls in engineering?
An excellent proposal will explain why you are applying for EngineerGirl Ambassadors, and what led to your interest in supporting younger girls.

Your personal growth — What do you hope to gain by participating in the EG Ambassador Program? (< 200 words)
The EngineerGirl Ambassadors program has a goal of assisting girls in developing their programs. What do you hope to gain from participating with peers and with the professional engineering community?
An excellent proposal will describe how you will benefit from implementing this project with assistance from the EngineerGirl Ambassadors program.

Summary — Describe your project in 50 words or less. (< 50 words)
Imagine you are stepping onto an elevator with the final judges for the Ambassadors Program. You have just 20 seconds to tell them what your project is and convince them it is important to your community. What do you say?
An excellent proposal will let readers know the who, what, where, when, and why of your intended project.

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Supporting Documents

In addition to your project proposal your application must include answers to the remaining questions in the EngineerGirl Ambassadors Application Form and the following documents:

Letter(s) of recommendation – You must provide at least one letter of recommendation from an adult who is not a family member. This person should be able to talk about or provide examples of why you are a good candidate for this program. You may submit an additional reference for a total of 2 letters of recommendation. The letter(s) may be uploaded with your application or submitted separately by your reference(s).

Statement of support from your sponsor – Your statement of support demonstrates that your sponsor will support your project and will work with you to see it completed. The statement of support must be submitted by your local sponsor. Make sure that your sponsor knows the email address you use to complete your application – s/he will need to provide your email address in order to link the statement of support to your application.

Permission and Liability Waivers – Your parent or guardian must complete and sign a waiver giving you permission to participate in this program should you be selected (students who will be 18 or older should also sign it themselves). Your local sponsor will also need to sign a waiver acknowledging the terms of the program. (See below.)

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Waivers for parents or sponsors may be downloaded from the website. All participants, parents, and sponsors must agree to do the following:

  1. Read the proposal, and support the Ambassador’s efforts.
  2. Carefully read and agree to the Program’s rules and requirements.
  3. Assume full responsibility for any and all injuries, damages (both economic and non-economic), and losses of any type, which may occur in connection with participation in the Ambassadors Program.
  4. Be responsible for any taxes that may arise from participation. Any federal, state, and local taxes, and all similar fees and assessments, are the sole responsibility of the recipient.

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Ambassadors and their sponsors will have the opportunity to be recognized on the EngineerGirl website and may be promoted via news releases or other outlets. Recognition as an Ambassador and/or sponsor will be contingent on a signed personal release giving the NAE permission to share information.

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How to Apply

Applicants must submit all materials (project proposal and waivers) online via the EngineerGirl Ambassador Application Form. Please make sure that your sponsor (and references) know the email address that you use to complete the application. Sponsors must submit the Statement of Support via the Sponsor Submission Form. References may be submitted with the application form or the Ambassador Reference Form or separately via US mail at the following address:

National Academy of Engineering
Attn: EngineerGirl Ambassadors Program
500 5th St. NW
Washington DC 20001

All submissions must be received by the deadline below.

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The deadline for submitting an application for the 2019-2020 school year is March 1, 2019.

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Selection Criteria

Potential EngineerGirl Ambassadors must submit the application and supporting documents, and the selected sponsor must submit a Statement of Support before the deadline. Ambassadors are selected by the EngineerGirl steering committee based on the feasibility, potential impact, and evidence of support for their proposal. All decisions of the steering committee are final and incontestable.

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The National Academy of Engineering will pay travel fees to the SWE conference for the Ambassador plus one adult chaperone. The chaperone should be the participating sponsor, but may be a parent or guardian if necessary. Travel fees include conference admission, meals, and up to four nights of hotel lodging. Extra funds to cover the cost of a substitute for teachers may be decided on a case by case basis. Economy class airfare or ground transportation will be arranged via the program and will depend upon distance traveled. Ambassadors will stay in rooms together (up to 4 in a room) and adult chaperones will stay in nearby double occupancy rooms. Extra fees may be incurred if an adult chaperone requires a single room.

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