TISP and STEEP Programs

“Engineering is important to me. I want to make a real difference.”

Technology Innovation Scholars Program

Apply for TISP

At a time when the nation needs 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 to middle and high schools around the country to explain how engineering can transform our lives. 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.


TISP has made significant strides since its founding in January 2011, and is growing all the time. Trained Inspiration Ambassadors have:

  • Increased in number by 150% to more than 50.
  • Reached 17,600 K-12 students in 27 states and 9 countries.
  • Mentored 35 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.

To learn more about partnering with TISP or to arrange a visit at your school, please email Associate Dean for Outreach & Diversity, For more information, please contact Associate Dean for Outreach & Diversity, Stacey Freeman at svfree@bu.edu.

“While recruiting at Boston University, we have found that students that have participated in the Inspiration Ambassador program are exceptional – they are academically successful, highly motivated to explore technology based careers, and ingrained into their community.”

Raymond L. Han, Senior Director, Accenture

We’re pleased to have a growing base of support from corporations, foundations, alumni, school systems, and national and local nonprofit and government organizations. These supporters recognize the critical importance of giving engineering students workforce training, and creating opportunities to introduce secondary school students to STEM fields. We welcome new partners who can help us train and hire more Inspiration Ambassadors and reach out to more school-aged children.

Our current partners include:

STEM Educator-Engineer Program

As more national and state standards require that engineering be taught in K–12 schools, educators need support and resources. In the short term, TISP can partner with teachers to help connect the dots to engineering; but to help them fully address the standards and their personal goals, BU’s STEM Educator-Engineer Program (STEEP) allows engineers to earn a Bachelor of Science degree and a Master of Arts in Teaching degree. This unique 4+1 program prepares seasoned (and future) educators to teach science, math, technology, and engineering in their own secondary classrooms.