students giving a tour

About the Engineering Ambassadors

Mission Statement: The Engineering Ambassadors are passionate about inspiring K-12 students to improve the world through engineering.

The goals of the Engineering Ambassadors Program are two-fold: Professional development and K-12 STEM outreach.

  1. Through training and professional development, we aspire to be confident communicators and leaders who champion social justice in the field of engineering.
  2. Through K-12 STEM outreach, we strive to empower young students from historically underrepresented groups to …
    • Feel that they belong in STEM fields.
    • Have confidence that they can engage with STEM.
    • Have equitable access to STEM fields.
    • See themselves as future engineers.

We believe:

  • Engineers are creative problem-solvers who improve the health, happiness, and safety of our world.
  • Communication skills are vital to effective leadership.
  • Students are inspired by role-models and by actively engaging in the world of engineering.
  • Students from historically underrepresented groups deserve to have equitable access to the field of engineering.


Penn State Engineering Ambassadors provides an outreach program that brings outstanding engineering students from Penn State to Pennsylvania K-12 schools to give short presentations on engineering topics in order to reinforce the principles that high school students are learning in their classrooms and to encourage the interest of students in careers in the areas of science and engineering. By showing the solutions that that engineers develop for important problems, the program hopes to show these high school students the relevance of what they are learning in their science classes. In particular, the program intends to show that engineers make a world of difference and that engineering is essential to our health, happiness, and safety. We hope that our presentations and programs play a role in Changing the Conversation that students are having about engineering.

A visit by the Engineering Ambassadors program consists of paired teams presenting to science or math classes. The pair will give a 10 minute presentation (times are flexible based on the host teacher's request) on an engineering topic that will show the relevance of that engineering project to a concept that has been taught in the class. The Ambassadors will also facilitate a demonstration or a hands-on design activity. If time allows following the presentation, the presenters are willing to answer questions from the students pertaining to the subject matter, careers, or college life. The program content is always tailored to the grade level of the students.

Additionally, the Engineering Ambassadors also give a presentation on Careers in Engineering as a complement to the individual classroom presentations. This 20-30 minute presentation discusses various career options and opportunities in the engineering field. This presentation is a good fit for a larger, assembly-style gathering in the school’s auditorium.

A typical visit consists of presentations by paired teams of Engineering Ambassadors to 2-4 individual science or math classes and then the assembly-style Careers in Engineering presentation at the beginning or end of the day to a larger group of students. There is no cost to the host school for a visit by the Penn State Engineering Ambassadors.

Interested in hosting the Engineering Ambassadors at your school? Please contact Lori Miraldi, Director for the Engineering Ambassadors Program, to schedule a visit. She can be reached at

Virtual Outreach

At this time, the Engineering Ambassadors are also offering virtual outreach activities.

General Inquiries

Thank you for your interest in the Penn State Engineering Ambassadors. This program reflects the very best characteristics and talent of the College of Engineering by conducting engaged outreach activities through an exceptional group of engineering students. Our members are actively sought out for multiple opportunities by employers, university faculty, College of Engineering staff, and secondary educators. Each year, the Penn State Engineering Ambassadors reach over 10,000 students and families during recruiting, mentoring, presentation, and retention activities. Additionally, the Penn State Engineering Ambassadors have an integral role in training other Engineering Ambassadors at colleges and universities throughout the nation. If you have any questions about the program, are interested in supporting it, or want to schedule an event, please contact me via email at

For more information on the communications techniques utilized by the Penn State Engineering Ambassadors, please visit the following website: Assertion-Evidence Approach.



The Leonhard Center for Enhancement of Engineering Education was established in 1990 by an endowment from William and Wyllis Leonhard. Its mission is to catalyze the changes that are crucial to maintaining world-class engineering education at Penn State. In 2006 the Leonhard Center became the home for two other major programs that support teaching and learning in the College - the Office of Assessment & Instructional Support and Programs for Engineering Writing & Speaking.

The Leonhard Center

201 Hammond Building

The Pennsylvania State University

University Park, PA 16802-4710

Phone: 814-865-4020