EngineerGirl Announces 2020 Class of Student Ambassadors


Wed, September 16, 2020

Washington D.C., September 16, 2020 —

The National Academy of Engineering today announced the new class of the EngineerGirl Ambassadors program. The 23 new ambassadors will participate in a yearlong program designed to build leadership skills in female high school students by helping them promote engineering to younger students in their community.

Each ambassador will design, develop, and implement a project that will encourage younger girls—  particularly those with little access to engineering role models— to think about engineering careers and give them practical experience in engineering design. They will work with local sponsors and receive guidance and support from EngineerGirl staff. In light of the Covid-19 pandemic, all ambassadors are adapting their outreach plans and events to ensure participants can engage safely. That means that many of the proposed plans are subject to change and most in-person events may be held asynchronously or online.

The 2020-2021 EngineerGirl ambassadors are:

Diya Agrawal, 11th grade, Inverness, Illinois. She is planning to work with an after school club led by fellow high schoolers to help introduce engineering principles to underprivileged elementary school girls.

Sarah Amacker, 11th grade, Covington, Louisiana. She proposed to work with middle school girls creating hands-on engineering focused projects with the help of local engineers.

Nikita Bharati, 11th grade, Chandler, Arizona. She proposed to use the Food Computer program in Arizona middle schools to teach students agriculture skills, computer design, engineering and sustainability.

Diana DiProfio, ninth grade, San Diego, California. She is planning to create and edit video interviews of women mentors in engineering and STEAM to inspire young girls.

Elizabeth Halton, 11th grade, Ithaca, New York. She is planning to develop hands-on engineering activity boxes to be used by young girls at the Sciencenter in Ithaca. 

Simran Kulkarni, 10th grade, Mechanicsburg, Pennsylvania. She proposed an after school STEM club at a kid’s center for young girls. The engineering focus will be robotics, chemical, and computer programming, which are all fields currently underreported by women.

Aavni Kuppusamy, 10th grade, Austin, Texas. She proposed a program that will encourage girls to pursue engineering by introducing them to diverse female role models and by offering hands-on experiences.

Nikki LaPierre, 12th grade, Andover, Massachusetts. She is planning to work with a group of middle school girls from Bellesini Academy, a private school for low income children, and teach them about engineering.

Hyunjin Lee, 12th grade, Chesterbrook, Pennsylvania. She proposed a series of six workshops centered on different engineering fields. The workshops will immerse girls in hands-on engineering projects.

Jewel Levy, 12th grade, Easton, Pennsylvania. She proposed an engineering club for middle school girls during the school year. The club will teach engineering through projects and with the help of high school mentors.

Faye Liu, 11th grade, Manhattan Beach, California. She plans to lead elementary school girls in various engineering and STEM-related projects. These sessions will explore the importance of female engineers, engineering for humanity, and teamwork.

Ishika Nag, 10th grade, Oviedo, Florida. She proposed an engineering club at the Boys and Girls Club of Central Florida. This club will feature engineering competitions, field trips, and engineering camps.

Allison Nguyen, 11th grade, Sugar Land, Texas. She hopes to pique the interest of young girls by introducing engineering creatively through exciting teaching projects and a supportive environment.

Yana Outkin, 11th grade, Albuquerque, New Mexico. She proposed an after-school program that will help young women in her community build engineering skills and develop confidence to continue in STEM.  It will focus heavily on Lego Mindstorms robots to introduce the girls to mechanical engineering and programming. 

Kaylee Pfister, 10th grade, Flower Mound, Texas. She plans to create a program at a local elementary school for girls interested in STEM. The program will include talks from female engineers and use LEGO Mindstorms for hand-on projects.

Izabella Pollett, 11th grade, Tulsa, Oklahoma. She proposed a program that will introduce young girls to female engineers who will serve as inspiration and mentors.

Yarianis Rivera, 11th grade, Manati, Puerto Rico. She proposed a program that will get young girls interested in engineering through robotics workshops.

Diana Sobolieva, 12th grade, Pittsfield, Massachusetts. She plans to create a program that will introduce young girls to female engineers who will talk about their experiences in the industry.

Julia (Heyu) Sun, 12th grade, Barrington, Illinois. She proposed an after-school program for middle school girls with the help of few high school mentors. They will teach the students engineering concepts by presenting a STEM-related slideshow followed by hands-on projects.

Danielle Sutterlin, 11th grade, Gibsonia, Pennsylvania. She plans to work with her local middle school to host a “Girls in Engineering Day”, introducing girls to the various engineering disciplines, classes offered in her district, and talks from female speakers currently in the field.

Ananya Tadigadapa, 12th grade, State College, Pennsylvania. She proposed a program that teaches fourth to eighth graders engineering using the hands-on experience of building and programing a robot.

Emerson Utgaard, 11th grade, San Diego, California. She plans to create a series of seven STEM workshops through the school year and a five-day summer camp introducing elementary school minority girls to engineering.

Zoe Vardys, 12th grade, Austin, Texas. She proposed a three-day workshop for young girls and their siblings in cooperation with Casa Marianella, a home for displaced immigrants. Over the course of the project, they will complete STEM-based experiments and learn about career opportunities.

To see a more in-depth profile of the student ambassadors and videos please visit the EngineerGirl website.

The EngineerGirl ambassadors receives support and project funding of up to $250, leadership development, networking and engagement opportunities, and a certificate and letter of recognition from the National Academy of Engineering that may be sent with college applications.

The EngineerGirl Ambassadors program is made possible by a generous grant from John F. McDonnell.


EngineerGirl is designed for girls in elementary through high school and offers information about various engineering fields and careers, questions and answers, interviews, an annual writing competition, and other resources on engineering. EngineerGirl is part of the NAE’s ongoing effort to increase the diversity of the engineering workforce.

The mission of the NAE is to advance the well-being of the nation by promoting a vibrant engineering profession and by marshalling the expertise and insights of eminent engineers to provide independent advice to the federal government on matters involving engineering and technology. The NAE is part of the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine, an independent, nonprofit organization chartered by Congress to provide objective analysis and advice to the nation on matters of science, technology, and health.

Brandon  Green
Contact Brandon Green
Communications/Media Specialist
National Academy of Engineering
Simil  Raghavan
Contact Simil Raghavan
Senior Program Officer, EngineerGirl Program
National Academy of Engineering