TISP Students

Technology Innovation Scholars Program

If you are interested in the Technology Innovation Scholars Program, you may apply online!

"Engineering looks like fun. The Inspiration Ambassadors showed me what a difference engineers make."

- 8th grader, Jackson Mann K-8 School, Allston, MA

At a time when the nation need them most, we face a critical shortage of engineers, largely because many young people who might choose a career in technology innovation don’t know what engineers do or how they improve our quality of life.

Enter the Technology Innovation Scholars Program (TISP).

TISP recruits and trains some of Boston University’s most talented engineering majors and sends them into elementary, middle and high schools around the country to show young people the transformative impact engineering can have on their lives and on society. TISP Inspiration Ambassadors give interactive, fun presentations that frame engineering as essential to our quality of life—from the cleanliness of the water we drink to the distribution of the energy we use to power our homes. K-12 students explore the design process and see themselves as problem solvers and future leaders of technological innovation.

To learn more about partnering with TISP or arranging a visit at your school, please contact Associate Dean for Outreach & Diversity Gretchen Fougere at gfougere@bu.edu.


"Our Inspiration Ambassador really related to the students and shared a moving story about how she was able to do things she never thought possible, all thanks to engineering."

- Jake Mendelsohn, HS Science Teacher, Hartford, CT

The Inspiration Ambassadors program is young, but the demand and impact are great. Since its founding in January 2011, trained Inspiration Ambassadors have:

  • Increased in number by 150% to more than 50
  • Reached 8,647 K-12 students in 119 US visits in 19 states.
  • Mentored 30 high school FIRST® robotics teams.
  • Engaged K-12 students who are twice as diverse as current engineering colleges: 25% underrepresented minorities and about 50% female.
  • Developed a transportable, scalable model than can be shared with other colleges for increased national impact.

Where the Inspiration Ambassadors Have Gone

Inspiration Ambassadors have given interactive presentations to 6,734 K-12 students in their home states across the country. In addition, they've delivered hands-on design challenges to 2,014 K-12 students around the Boston area.


Overall, Inspiration Ambassadors have reached 4,976 K-12 students throughout Boston and the US.


Strategic Partnerships

Several sponsors, nonprofits, school systems and national and local organizations have already committed to the success of the Inspiration Ambassadors program, allowing us to scale.

STEM Engineer-Educators

"I learned management skills and communication skills that helped me figure out a career path, find an internship and want to pursue a masters in engineering management."

- Ming Wang, CE’13, China

More national and state standards are requiring that engineering be taught in K-12 schools, but educators desire further support and resources. In the short term, TISP complements and partners with teachers to help connect the dots to engineering; however, to fully prepare students for STEM majors, their own teachers are the best lever to do so regularly and authentically. In fact, TISP has motivated some Inspiration Ambassadors to consider alternate careers teaching young people about the power of engineering.

To help both the seasoned and future teachers address the standards and their personal goals, Boston University created a unique 4+1 program called STEM Engineer-Educators (STEEP) that allows engineers to earn a Bachelor of Science degree and a Master of Arts in Teaching degree, and readies them to teach science, math, technology and engineering in their own secondary classrooms.