EEP- Enhancing Engineering Pathways


Northern Illinois University - Enhancing Engineering Pathways (NIU-EEP) is a program funded by the Motorola Foundation to establish a sustainable pathway through Girl Scouts for girls in middle and high school to enter engineering.

This project is an alliance between the College of Engineering and Engineering Technology (CEET) at Northern Illinois University (NIU), the Collegiate section of the Society of Women Engineers (SWE), Girl Scouts of Greater Chicago and Northwest Indiana Council and the Girl Scouts of Northern Illinois to introduce engineering to the Cadettes and the Senior Girl Scout members.

This program has been designed to increase the awareness, enthusiasm and excitement among girls to explore and enjoy the field of engineering through hands-on activities, discussion forums and field trips. One of the most innovative aspects of this outreach effort is the establishing of the chain mentoring program that connects faculty and women working as professional engineers, undergraduate students in SWE, Senior Girl Scouts and Cadette Scout members.

By combining personal and academic support for the school age girls with opportunities and incentives, this program seeks to establish a sustainable pathway through the Girl Scout organizations to the field of engineering.

Saturday Engineering Workshops

Geared toward girls in grades 5 through 8, these workshops challenge participants to sharpen their math, science and technology skills as they discover engineering. Girls work in small groups with mentors to complete engineering projects such as building simple electrical circuits, building bridges and exploring chemical engineering. Mentors are high school girls who have been through the NIU-EEP program, college women and female engineering faculty and professionals.

Selection of participants for the Beginner level is based upon grades obtained during the last quarter and a letter of recommendation from the student's math, science or technology teacher. Registration for this year's program has closed.

Beginner Application - Girl Scouts of Northern Illinois

Beginner Application - Girl Scouts of Greater Chicago and Northwest Indiana

Registration questions? Contact Rose Coughlen, 312-912-6309. Program questions? Contact Dr. Suma Rajashankar, 815-753-9966.


The major goals set for the NIU-EEP – A Combined Outreach and Mentoring Program are:

  • To establish a sustainable pathway for the middle and high school girls through the Girl Scout Organizations to the field of engineering.
  • To increase the level of awareness among the female students about the opportunities available in the field of engineering.
  • To establish a very successful mentoring program by providing the middle and high schoolers with positive role models and access to the professional community and also easing the transition from school to college.
  • To increase the retention of female engineering students to degree completion and beyond.

Frequently Asked Questions

Who is eligible?

Girl Scouts in grades 5, 6, 7 or 8 in the Girl Scouts of Illinois or Girl Scouts of Greater Chicago and Northwest Indiana councils.

When are the workshops?

Workshops are held on Saturdays in November, December, February, March, April and May.  Workshop schedule

Where are the workshops?

NIU's Naperville campus, 1120 Diehl Road, Naperville, IL.

What is the cost?

The cost is $265 per registered Girl Scout (includes $25 GSUSA registration fee) and $290 for nonregistered Girl Scouts. There is an additional cost (less than $100) for summer camp. Students who receive free or reduced-price school lunches may be eligible for scholarships.

How do I apply?

Registration for the 2017-18 academic year has closed. Check back in the summer for 2018-19 application information.

Contact Us

Enhancing Engineering Pathways
Naperville Campus
1120 E. Diehl Rd.
Naperville, IL 60563