To be selected by the National Academy of Engineering (NAE) as an EngineerGirl Ambassador, an applicant must have a local sponsor. Local sponsors are essential to the program so it is important that you understand the purpose of the project and your role as a sponsor.
A local sponsor is an adult 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 where the event will be hosted. Sponsors support students, oversee their work to make sure events are safe and effective, and help to ensure students will have the resources needed to complete their proposed project.
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 also receive training or professional development via interaction with NAE staff and attendance at the SWE annual conference. Participation in the program also offers the opportunity to connect with other educators and mentors. While no cash awards are guaranteed for an ambassador sponsor, the NAE will cover the cost of travel to the annual conference. This could include the cost to pay a substitute teacher should one be required to allow you to attend the conference.
A local sponsor must agree to work with each Ambassador to implement her project. Multiple adults may certainly help a student with her project, but one should be designated as the primary sponsor who will be the point of contact for the NAE. Sponsors will be asked to attend the EngineerGirl Ambassador training program with the Ambassador at the Society of Women Engineers (SWE) national conference in October/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.
Yes. The National Academy of Engineering will pay travel fees to the SWE conference for the Ambassador plus one adult. See the full Rules and Requirements for more information.
If you have been asked to serve as a sponsor for a local student, please read the program Rules and Requirements as well as the student's project proposal. You will need to read and fill out a liability waiver along with a Statement of Support for the participating student. If the applicant is selected as an EngineerGirl Ambassador, you may be asked for a personal release to allow public recognition for your role in the project.
Ambassadors do not need a unique sponsor, so technically you could serve as a sponsor for more than one girl. We would ask that you be fully prepared to sponsor multiple applicants at the same time should they be accepted. This program is new and will have a limited number of Ambassadors for the first couple of years. It is therefore unlikely, at this time, that two students from the same area would be selected as Ambassadors in the same year.