National Academy of Engineering EngineerGirl Initiative



Archive photo via EngineerGirl

The Kenan Institute is collaborating with the National Academy of Engineering (NAE) on EngineerGirl, which is designed to strengthen the engineering workforce through diversity. EngineerGirl provides resources and support to young girls to spark and deepen interest in engineering and help them aspire to an engineering degree. During 2019-20, EngineerGirl began a second year of the EngineerGirl Ambassadors program inviting 16 students to serve as ambassadors and make a difference in their communities. EngineerGirl served as a resource to over 574,000 users and 100 individuals received answers to their engineering-related questions via the Ask an Engineer program.

A fundamental activity of EngineerGirl is an annual essay contest that is promoted through the website, email, and via partner organizations.  The 2019-20 essay contest theme was on the engineering contribution to education and asked entrants to imagine how students of the future might learn during a long space voyage.  EngineerGirl received 553 entries in response to the essay contest. EngineerGirl also received responses from 232 students, 76 parents, and 13 teachers to their feedback survey regarding their experiences with the contest and the website. Leveraged support includes funds contributed by Chevron, John McDonnell, and Oracle. In addition, EngineerGirl received a multi-year pledge ($2,000,000 over 5 years) from the A. James and Alice B. Clark Foundation to be used for a program endowment to support EngineerGirl programming in the future. EngineerGirl is also collaborating with the Maria Mitchell Foundation to include a feature of Maria Mitchell on a new EngineerGirl page for women trailblazers in science and math.