Girls in middle school typically aren’t interested in robotics or french fry oil. They would rather paint their nails or text their friends. Several organizations are working to make girls more interested in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) fields, citing research that says thousands of future jobs will be in those disciplines. My daughter was one of an estimated 400 girls who will participate in two science based workshops this spring designed specifically for girls, featuring women in a variety of STEM professions as instructors.
Girls in Engineering
This first was the annual “Wow! That’s Engineering?” event organized by our local chapter of the Society of Women Engineers. Currently on its fifth year, it was developed as a way to celebrate National Engineers Week while also expanding accessible science programs for young girls. The activities the girls take part in expose them to a variety of different engineering fields.
At last year’s Girls in Engineering event, the girls built bridges, an electronic circuit board, and a hydroelectric lift. This year, the stations featured robotics, biofuels, and a build it/plan it cooperative activity. They had a fabulous time and many return year after year.
Contact your local chapter of the Society of Women Engineers to see if there are similar Girls in Engineering events in your area. You may also wish to read my earlier post for tips on Encouraging Girls in STEM.