NATIONAL ENGINEERS WEEK FOUNDATION’S INTRODUCE A GIRL TO ENGINEERING DAY ENTERS ITS SECOND DECADE
11th ANNUAL EVENT SET FOR FEBRUARY 23, 2012
Mentors and Other Volunteers Lead Local Events and Activities Nationwide to Help Girls Discover Their Potential as Engineers
WASHINGTONDC, February 6, 2012 – As the nation – and the world – continues to emphasize the urgent need for our next generation to pursue and master science and engineering careers, half of the population continues to be underrepresented in those careers. Determined to tap into the brain power, ambition and creativity of girls and young women, National Engineers Week Foundation is launching its 11th annual Introduce a Girl to Engineering Day, slated for Thursday, February 23, 2012.
With the resources of the nation’s professional engineering community behind it, Girl Day raises awareness so that girls and young women feel empowered to pursue challenging, lucrative, creative and potentially world-changing careers in science, technology, engineering and math (STEM). Introduce a Girl to Engineering Day is one of the tent pole events that make up National Engineers Week 2012, February 19-25, 2012.
On February 23, women engineers, along with their male counterparts, will mentor and reach out to as many as one million girls around the country with workshops, tours, on-line discussions and a host of hands-on activities at local businesses, universities and libraries. All of these events deliver the message that a career in engineering is within the grasp of every young woman who is looking to play a role in addressing the issues her generation will face as it comes of age.
Major support for Introduce a Girl to Engineering Day 2012 is provided by ExxonMobil, Bechtel, Agilent Technologies, Rockwell Collins, Motorola Solutions Foundation and S. D. Bechtel, Jr. Foundation. Additional support is provided by the National Science Foundation (NSF).
Heather Sweeney, a senior atPurdueUniversity’sCollegeofEngineering, was just honored as part of the initial class of National Engineers Week Foundation’s New Faces of Engineering College Edition. She currently volunteers for Introduce a Girl to Engineering Day through the Purdue Society of Women Engineers and Purdue Women in Engineering Program.
“I really enjoy volunteering at Girl Day because I am able to help younger girls understand what engineering is and all the ways a degree in engineering can change their lives,” says Heather. “When I was younger these events really influenced my decision to choose engineering. If I did not attend these events, I would have not have been exposed to all of the amazing possibilities.”
Shalyric Self is a 10th grader and future computer engineer atScotlandvilleMagnetHigh School inBaton Rouge. She reflects on her experience at a Girl Day 2011 event, sponsored by ExxonMobil in her home community.
“Introduce a Girl to Engineering Day 2011 majorly inspired me,” comments Shalyric. “It exposed me to my future and the hard work required in making a difference. Our assignment was to make paper gliders that descended at the slowest rate. Lots of brainstorming, critical thinking, teamwork, and analyzing helped us create the design. After testing our last design, we decided to go with it and this resulted in our being the winning team. That day, I realized I could think like an engineer. Engineering has now made me see things in a totally different mindset and I’m ready for the journey”.
“We are focused on introducing young people to the field of engineering because it provides diverse, rewarding career opportunities,” adds Monica Mainland, technical division manager, ExxonMobil Baton Rouge Refinery. “An education in engineering teaches students how to think critically and find creative solutions to problems, while acquiring a professional degree that is highly valued by employers. We believe events like Introduce a Girl to Engineering Day inspire young women to pursue engineering degrees and become our nation’s next generation of innovators.”
Some of the local activities planned for Girl Day, 2012 include:
- Argonne National Laboratory, just outside of Chicago, will offer girls a full day of hands-on experiments, activities and talks, all designed to give the students the chance to be scientists and engineers and see the results of their work. Led by a team of two Argonne women engineers, the morning session teaches the girls about the fields of science and engineering and allows them to perform a controlled experiment, such as mixing up a polymer “gak”. In the afternoon, participants will be members of an engineering team, working on a project from concept to through completion and final presentation of their idea, as they design, build, and test an electric car chassis and transmission.
- Agilent Technologies, the world’s premier measurement company, celebrates Introduce a Girl to Engineering Day over an extended period this spring at Agilent sites around the globe, including China, India, Taiwan, Singapore, Brazil, Germany, Canada, Spain, the United Kingdom and United States, to mention a few. They will host a variety of events using Agilent’s Agilent After School (AAS) program (a kit based, hands-on science program) that focuses on girls as well as boys. Agilent employees will implement AAS at Agilent sites and after-school venues to middle school students and to Girl Scouts in communities where Agilent employees live and work. The Girl Scout program allows girls to earn an “Agilent Science Patch” when completing the AAS program. To date, hundreds of Girl Scouts have earned this patch.
- ExxonMobil will be hosting students at more than ten company sites across the country as well as visiting classrooms with activities to engage students in fun, hands-on experiments and lessons designed to connect math and science to real life. Examples include demonstrations on how the energy industry uses 3D technology, exploring the science of manufacturing cosmetics and bridge-building with straws. ExxonMobil has been involved with “Introduce a Girl to Engineering” events for nine years.
- Rockwell Collins will be hosting 75 middle school girls at its corporate headquarters inCedar Rapids,Iowa, for its annual Girl Day event. Each young woman will be paired with a female engineering mentor for the day and will have the opportunity to visit a variety of engineering labs including the Synthetic Vision Lab, Flight Decks, and Testing Facilities. Girls and their mentors will also have lunch and hear speakers including Rockwell Collins’ Senior Vice President of Engineering and Technology, Nan Mattai. Girls will leave Rockwell Collins with information about opportunities for additional engineering activities and camps in the area as they move through high school.
- At Nitsch Engineering, a Boston-based Women-owned Business Enterprise (WBE), women and men engineers will work with middle and high-school girls to explore this year’s theme: “Engineering in School Buildings.” The program will begin by introducing the girls to types of engineering that go into the design of a school, followed by a brief presentation about engineering in the construction of the school. A female engineer will take the girls on a tour of the new school, which is scheduled to open in late spring. Hands-on activities will focus on specific types of engineering – structural, civil, traffic, plumbing and mechanical/electrical. The day concludes with a lunchtime panel discussion, led by five women in engineering.
- Bechtel will host about 300 Girl Scouts, Boy Scouts, and Webelos on February 25 at itsHoustonoffice as part of its Engineers Week activities. Girl Scouts will experience the different types of engineering in creative activities. They can learn about mechanical engineering by building a cart propelled by a balloon; gain insight into civil/structural engineering by designing and building a play dough playground; discover environmental/chemical engineering by building their own water treatment system using empty 2 liter soda bottles, rocks, pebbles, alum and a coffee filter; and participate in interactive workshops that highlight graphic design engineering, electrical engineering and control system engineering.
- Maury Elementary School in Washington,DCwill be conducting a daily Engineering Challenge, announcing a famous engineer and their contribution to the field on the school’s morning announcement. They will have classroom presentations and explorations with a variety of engineers and utilize Lego products to connect to STEM concepts in their Think Tank class. In addition, girls in grades K-5 will have the opportunity to complete a special engineering challenge and meet with female engineers from the surrounding area.
- The Wheeling Jesuit University Center for Educational Technologies inWheeling,WVwill conduct two all-day “Girls as NASA Robotic Engineers” workshops for girls, women educators and youth group leaders. Girls will build and program robots with sensors to solve a series of increasingly difficult challenges. They will also see videos of NASA robotics engineers. Girls working in pairs will learn basic programming skills and receive immediate feedback as they program robots to travel one meter, apply ratios to retrieve an object located a fraction of a meter from their start position. Girls will use a light and ultrasonic sensors to navigate a course. They will also use sound sensors to control their bots.
- At Georgia Tech University in Savannah,GA, participants will be able to get their hands dirty by learning first hand with exciting activities that include a wind tunnel, building an electronic game, flying a simulator and better water for a better world. Parents and Girl Scout troop leaders will be able to attend a separate part of the event geared towards keeping the girls interested in STEM and learn free resources available to them.
- In Bloomfield Hills, MI, Science with the Engineers, Inc. will be presenting Density and Specific Gravity to 25 fourth grade girls atSt.RegisElementary School. Three industry professionals will facilitate the presentation on miscible and immiscible liquids while the girls perform a laboratory experiment. The girls will determine specific gravity of each liquid and will use this information to make and understand how a lava lamp works.
Visit http://www.eweek.org/EngineersWeek/Introduce.aspx to access Girl Day activities nationwide.
About National Engineers Week Foundation
National Engineers Week Foundation works year-round to sustain and grow a dynamic engineering profession critical to public health, safety, and welfare. The Foundation supports engineering outreach, education, and celebration through a network of thousands of volunteers in its partner coalition of more than 100 professional societies, major corporations and government agencies. Together we meet a vital need: introducing students, parents, and educators to engineering, engaging them in hands-on engineering experiences, and making science and math relevant. The Foundation and coalition are actively putting the E in STEM.
For more information about National Engineers Week Foundation, visit www.eweek.org.