During the spring of 2009, the Engineering Ambassador Network started at Penn State . Originally the goal of the EAN was to encourage more women to study engineering. The EA Program started with twelve ambassadors who worked together to create engineering related presentations for local high schools. The program took a turn when a representative at Pratt & Whitney attended one of these presentations. The representative was so impressed by the presentation that Pratt & Whitney decided to both sponsor and promote the EAN program. Pratt & Whitney helped the Engineering Ambassadors Program spread to three other schools: WPI, UConn, and RPI. These three schools became the foundation of the EAN and between 2010 and 2012, other universities across the country began inquiring about the Engineering Ambassadors Program. Due to growing interest, the Engineering Ambassador Network received a grant from the National Science Foundation; this grant was used to run a national workshop aimed to teach other universities how to start their own Engineering Ambassador Programs. In total, twenty-one schools (four member schools and seventeen pilot schools) attended this workshop. The attending schools were located across the United States.
The initial national workshop was the steppingstone for the EA’s growth. Once the EAN went nationwide, more sponsors, universities, and ambassadors involved within the EA program. In 2017, the program contained more than five-hundred Engineering Ambassadors and reached over forty-thousand people. As of today, the EAN continues to grow in both members and schools. The mission has changed to inspiring under represented students to become future engineers and scientists by educating grade school students about what engineering is. To accomplish the EAN goals and objectives, Engineering Ambassadors hold college tours, host engineering competitions, and travel to schools to present engineering topics to younger audiences.