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Introduce a Girl to Engineering Day

aibarraibarr Posts: 4,248Registered User Senior Member
edited February 2008 in Engineering Majors
Introduce a Girl to Engineering Day

As part of Engineers Week, today is Introduce a Girl to Engineering Day.

(Girls, this is Engineering.
Engineering, this is Girls.
I'm sure you have much to talk about.)

At any rate, if you run into any young women looking for interesting careers today, please let them know that engineering might be a good career path. If you *do* happen to do anything for Introduce a Girl to Engineering Day, please reply and let us know what happened (and whether or not you got maced in the process).
Post edited by aibarr on

Replies to: Introduce a Girl to Engineering Day

  • merper68merper68 Posts: 430Registered User Member
    I introduced my sister to engineering and told her not to go into it. Does that count?
  • aibarraibarr Posts: 4,248Registered User Senior Member
    Um... no.
    Nice try, though.
  • smithiegrsmithiegr Posts: 243Registered User Junior Member
    Our SWE chapter is planning on holding two workshops in honor of this occasion. We're not doing them today (they're planned for next month), but that's okay :)

    OT: We went to a local school awhile back where the girls were totally unenthusiastic about engineering. When we asked them to make a list of things they liked, they came up with things like shopping, boys, clothes, et cetera. They became super intrigued when we had them do things like designing malls and looking at chemE in the cosmetics field. It was definitely a time of warmth and fuzzies.

    No mace...yet ;)
  • aibarraibarr Posts: 4,248Registered User Senior Member
    lol... *sigh*. I love how if it's not related to something from Cosmo or Glamour, it's not interesting. How incredibly depressing!

    Last year, the private girls' school that I'm an alumna of invited me back to be a speaker at Career Day. I accepted, because I really enjoy talking up engineering. It's a cool field. A few days before the event, I got the list of the other (all female) speakers... The other people there were a senior pilot from American Airlines, the CEO of Neiman Marcus, the lead anchor of the local Fox affiliate, the mayor of Dallas, the CFO of the Texas Rangers, the first black president of the Dallas Bar Association, a neurosurgeon... and me. A fresh-outta-school junior engineer at a ridiculously well-respected firm that nobody outside of the industry and everyone inside of the industry has heard of.

    Determined not to wuss out, I showed up in *my* corporate attire-- steel toed boots, jeans, and company polo-- and felt a wee bit out of place amid the pasta-salad-eating career professionals swagged in Prada and Gucci. I'd had a really well-rehearsed program, though, taking each group through the sorts of things that I did on a daily basis. Luckily, the things I did on a daily basis back then involved crawling around on piles of rubble, rappelling from ailing structures, and riding swing stages and saying hi to the people who would come out on the balconies to watch us. I appealed to their Outward-Bound senses of adventure and started off the presentation by showing slides of the more awesome stuff that our Difficult Access Team has done. I then walked them through an entire bridge collapse investigation, and by feeding them the right clues at the right time and leading them in a discussion of what was going on, every group was able to come up with the right reason why the bridge failed, and they were pretty proud of themselves... It was a lot of fun to watch.

    After the school day was over, about ten or so of the girls actually came back to talk with me some more, and I got a good pile of really nice thank you notes, several from some girls who'd actually decided to look into engineering a little more closely as a result of my presentation. It's been one of the more rewarding things I've ever participated in. (I was also told that my presentation was way cooler than most of the more notable people's presentations were! Take *that*, fashion industry!)

    No mace here, either, but that's probably because I was invited to participate. ;) Good to see that SWE chapters are getting involved with this!
  • smithiegrsmithiegr Posts: 243Registered User Junior Member
    LOL, I think the same...I don't like *any* of those things (well, except for shopping, but only for books), so it was, initially, kind of depressing for me. Thank goodness those wiser than me saw an opportunity in what I saw as an obstacle!

    Our Introduce a Girl to Engineering Day has, IMO, more interesting projects. They're more traditional (balloon-powered cars, robotics, and some other projects I can't think of), but it should be good. We've also started a Capsela project with a local school and have gotten some really good feedback (even from those who originally cried at having to rotate into this activity, because, to them knitting > Capsela). It's definitely wonderful to see the pride on the girls' faces when they finish their projects.

    Kudos to you on a job well done at your alma mater. I'd love to have seen your presentation. :)
  • Saxonthebeach6Saxonthebeach6 Posts: 524Registered User Member
    Girls...in engineering...? Blasphemy!

    But seriously, we need more of you.
  • Mr PayneMr Payne Posts: 8,850Registered User Senior Member
    Seriously, more chicks in engineering would be awesome. In my group it's like 8:1.
  • RacinReaverRacinReaver Posts: 6,598Registered User Senior Member
    When I lived in Pittsburgh I used to do the National Engineering Week they'd hold at the Carnegie Science Center over the weekend. I'd work at my school's Materials Science booth and probably had more fun at that thing than any other weekend in the year. We'd do demos with liquid nitrogen and marshmallows/bouncy balls, the effect of heat treatment on piano wire (get some really big Boy Scout to try to break it, temper the steel, then give it to a little girl and watch her snap it in half), corn starch + some other stuff to get it to cross-link into an oozy thing, shape memory alloys, and a couple others I can't remember at the moment.

    To me it wasn't just the fun of getting the little kids into it, but having their parents appreciate what engineers actually do that effects their daily lives.

    Also, I swear, Brownies are the biggest freaking thieves I've ever met. They must have stolen twice as many shape memory alloy wires as the Cub Scouts do. One even stole the one we had that would form back into a heart. ;_;
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