Engineering for Change: Emma Younger's love of the out-of-doors motivated her to take action against global warming


“I am invested in MISSion Innovation because it’s vital that our generation make the world a cleaner place and forever sustainable. This is essential. We can’t be selfish and use everything up.”

— Emma Younger, Colorado School of Mines ’24

During her sophomore year in high school, Emma stepped up to be among the leaders who organized and launched the first all-woman innovation marathon for climate action, MISSion Innovation. She’s also a senior developer of the MISSion Innovation App, into which she’s invested 300 to 400 hours engineering for change in response to global warming. (Compare that to the 100ish hours many college engineering majors put into their senior projects.)

Emma’s style is ever-steady, detail oriented and reliable. She gets the job done well — always.

What Emma Says About Her Path of Engineering for Change . . .

“Growing up in Northern Colorado, I was introduced to technology at a young age. It was not until my freshman year of high school, however, that I decided to join the FTC robotics team at Windsor High School. Now I have completed four years competing in robotics. Through robotics I learned meaningful skills — programming in Java, presenting to a panel of judges, documenting my engineering process, and working on a team with my peers.

“Through robotics I also connected with Pretty Brainy three years ago and have enjoyed every minute of my past three years of involvement. From weekly meetings planning the climate action marathon to pitching the MISSion Innovation App at the Colorado State University Energy Institute and Powerhouse Campus, I have learned valuable life skills and made connections with incredible young women.

Bringing Renewable Energy to Kenya + Remote Maasai Villages

“Because of my engagement in robotics, in 2019 I was offered the opportunity to travel to Kenya. This experience piqued my interest in the education of young women outside of the United States. During my trip, I installed solar panel kits in remote Maasai villages and taught high school students basic principles of electronics and programming. In fact, one of the schools I taught at was an all-girl boarding school.

“All of these STEAM endeavors, as well as growing up camping and hiking in Colorado and my work with MISSion Innovation, have inspired me to pursue a degree in Chemical Engineering as I enter Colorado School of Mines as a freshman.

“When I was younger I had incredible teachers and parents that encouraged me to expand my STEAM knowledge. As I enter my post high school years, I aspire to be a positive mentor in the lives of young women since I have been very fortunate to have so many positive female role models in my life. As I continue my work with Pretty Brainy, my goal is to be an amazing mentor and engineer.”

Connect with Emma