Ambassador FAQ

This list includes questions commonly received by the EngineerGirl team about the Ambassador program.

If you have a different question about the program, please send it to EngineerGirl@nae.edu.

Don't hesitate to ask - we are here to help!


 

What would a year as an EngineerGirl Ambassador be like?

A year of service begins in the fall with an all-expense-paid trip to the Society of Women Engineers (SWE) National Conference for training and the chance to get to know other girls who are serving as Ambassadors. Training includes sessions on outreach and leadership and each ambassador will be able to speak with professional engineers or other experts to help refine their project plans. At this time, Ambassadors also receive a cash award of up to $250 to help fund their projects.

Throughout the year, Ambassadors will work on implementing the project submitted in their proposal. They will submit monthly journals of their project activities and receive ongoing support from EngineerGirl in the form of a private online community, access to experts, troubleshooting advice, and encouragement.

At the end of their year of service, all Ambassadors will receive a letter of recognition from the National Academy of Engineering, as well as a free SWE membership upon acceptance to a university engineering program.  Ambassadors will also be invited to continue participating in the online community as alumni of the program.


 

Can one of my parents be my sponsor?

Yes. However, if you are facilitating a hands-on experience, your parent should be affiliated with the school, library, or other organization where you plan to host the event. 


 

Why are only girls eligible to apply to become Ambassadors?

While we encourage young men to establish the kinds of projects that EngineerGirl Ambassadors are creating and facilitating, the primary purpose of the EngineerGirl Ambassador program is to recognize, support, and reward young women who act as positive role models for girls in their communities.

Many girls do not consider engineering as a possible career choice simply because they have little exposure to engineering and limited access to mentors and role models. Even very talented girls pass-up opportunities to join a robotics team or STEM program, because no one has presented the benefits of such programs in a meaningful way. That means many girls miss the chance to pursue a stable and rewarding career as an engineer.  But it also means that our whole society misses out on the creativity and innovation that happens when women become engineers. 

Engineering and engineers are central to the process of innovation, which drives our economy.  Diversity of thought is crucial to this, and when there are fewer women engaged in engineering, we as a country, lose a key component of the creativity that fuels innovation.  We need the problem-solvers of tomorrow to fully represent the world's population, because they will be the ones to ensure our health, happiness, and safety in years to come.  That's why we need great role models for elementary and middle school girls today.


 

Who should be the target audience for my project?

The best projects will create opportunities for girls - particularly those from groups with limited access to engineers and engineering experiences - to learn about engineering design and the impact that engineers have on our world.

In many communities, but not all, those groups with limited access to engineering role models are from under-represented groups such as African Americans, Hispanics and Latinos, Native Americans, or individuals with disabilities. Creating projects that reach out to different ethnic and cultural groups can present an extra challenge, but the right local sponsor will be a huge help in implementing your project in these cases.   

The most important thing is to consider which girls in your own community will benefit most from the kind of experience you are creating through your project.


 

Do you have any examples of other Ambassador projects?

This is a new program, so Ambassadors selected in 2018 are the first group to participate.  They each have a different project that is briefly listed on the website.  Other EngineerGirl visitors have also completed projects that would have qualified them to be Ambassadors. One such girl is Kira, who developed a regular outreach program for girls in a local elementary school. Read an interview with Kira elsewhere on the site. 


 

Do my parents have to sign a waiver if I will turn 18 during my year of service?

You will need a waiver from your parents if you will be under 18 for any part of your year as an Ambassador.  If you will turn 18 during the year, we will also need you to sign the waiver form.


 

Can my project extend beyond one year?

Yes! We encourage you to think about ways that your project can establish an ongoing program or somehow live on after your year of service.  In other words, it should be sustainable.  We hope that all Ambassador alumni will continue to be involved in outreach efforts to promote engineering to girls.  Please keep in mind, however, that you will be asked to submit regular journals and a final report that demostrate what you have done during your year of service.  You will want to be able to demonstrate your successful year and so your proposal should be specific about what you will do during the year. 


 

Can I use a project that I have worked on in the past for my application?

EngineerGirl Ambassadors are expected to implement a successful project during their year of service.  You may build upon a project you have worked on in the past, but you should explain in your application what new elements you plan to include in this year's effort.  Do include information about your past experience with engineering outreach projects in your application, as that will likely help you in the selection process.


 

Can I apply if I am homeschooled?

Yes. You must be at least 14 years of age and have reached an education level equivalent to grade 9-12 for the 2019-2020 school year.


If you did not find the answer you needed here, please send your question to EngineerGirl@nae.edu.

Don't hesitate to ask - we are here to help!