EngineerGirls Reps Tackle Projects for Recruiting Younger Students to the Field

A group of high schoolers has been named as "EngineerGirl Ambassadors," all intending to implement projects this school year to woo younger students to engineering. The National Academy of Engineering (NAE) named 16 girls to the year-long EngineerGirl program, which is designed to help them develop their leadership skills and promote engineering to other students. The ambassadors will work with local sponsors and be supported by EngineerGirl staff.

Among the new ambassadors are:

  • Kelly Cha from Clifton, NJ, who plans to run engineering workshops for underprivileged young girls in her community;

  • Sarah Eckert in Davenport, IA, who will be running an all-day maker space, including student presentations, for "disenfranchised female participants and their siblings" that will include transportation, lunch and snacks;

  • Madelyn Heaston in Issaquah, WA, who wants to reach girls in homeless shelters with "interactive, STEAM-based activities";

  • Lauren Eppinger in Saxtons River, VT, who is planning a week-long summer design camp for 10 middle school girls to help them learn how "engineering helps solve real-world problems"; and

  • Saraswati Sridhar in Mayaguez, PR, who intends to build a learning platform about biomedical engineering, with videos, quizzes and laboratory simulations, to introduce girls to biomedical engineering in workshops around Puerto Rico.

Ambassadors will receive:

  • Project funding of up to $250;

  • A free one-year membership to the Society of Women Engineers (SWE);

  • A certificate and a letter of recommendation from the NAE that may be sent with college applications

They'll also get an all-expenses-paid trip to the SWE annual conference in Anaheim, CA this November.

The program is designed for girls in elementary through high school and offers information about engineering fields and careers as well competitions. It's part of the NAE's ongoing effort to increase the diversity of the engineering workforce.

About the Author

Dian Schaffhauser is a senior contributing editor for 1105 Media's education publications THE Journal and Campus Technology. She can be reached at dian@dischaffhauser.com or on Twitter @schaffhauser.