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Will You Introduce a Girl to Engineering?

Posted February 24, 2011 1:00 AM by Sharkles

As part of National Engineers Week in the U.S., today, February 24th, is "Introduce a Girl to Engineering" day. The National Society of Professional Engineers (NSPE) have marked this date as a rallying point for getting more young women involved in engineering.

This year marks the 10th anniversary of the initiative. To celebrate, the NSPE has set a "10 for 10" goal, which aims to provide 10,000 ten-year-old girls with a positive engineering experience during a 10-week period (February 24th – May 8th)with the help of national partners. So far, the initiative has reached an estimated 397 girls.

Partners taking part in the "10 for 10" campaign include the National Engineers Week Foundation, the AAUW, the Girl Scouts of America, Girls Inc., GirlsRISEnet/ASTC, the National Coalition of Girls Schools, the National Girls Collaborative Project, SciGirls, the Society of Women Engineers, and the Women in Engineering Project (WEPAN).

In addition to "10 for 10," an "Engineer Your Life" campaign that tells girls to "Dream big. Love what you do." The website provides girls with reasons for choosing to become an engineer, and includes descriptions of engineering jobs and streaming videos of inspiring videos of women in the field. The Engineer Your Life website also provides links for parents and counselors and engineers who want to help encourage and advise an interested young person.

For more information on Introduce a Girl to Engineering Day, check out the following websites:

National Engineers Week Foundation

Engineer Your Life

2011 Participating Businesses and Events

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#1

Re: Will You Introduce a Girl to Engineering?

02/24/2011 1:31 AM

I once worked in a refrigeration shop whose pressure vessel engineer was a woman, who did just fine. Omega Engineering and AutoDesk are, or have been, run by women engineers/CEOs. Admittedly they may be a bit unsung, but I bet they are doing quite well. If successes like these can be conveyed to young women entering the field, more power to everybody. (But why does hardly anyone know about these advances?)

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#2

Re: Will You Introduce a Girl to Engineering?

02/25/2011 9:40 AM

Hi Sharkles,

Why not? What's the reason to choose between man and woman when professional needs arrive? Both are with brain and skills. Attitude and personality develop with time in the shop or factory or the jod-site.

Don't need any special "DAY" to hire someone, including woman. We have a requirement for someone competent, that's all, Gil.

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#3

Re: Will You Introduce a Girl to Engineering?

02/25/2011 10:00 AM

I have to wonder how effective these programs are anyways.

I have three girls ages from 15 to 21. Even though I am an engineer at work and at home (projects, auto mechanics, etc), none have shown the slightest interest in the field. My company puts on a great, stimulating bring-your-kid-to-work-day every year with an overall presentation, hands on exercises and competitions, tours of the plant with specific talks from various people through the whole chain from engineering, manufacturing, test, logistics, etc. My kids have gone to these for years, yet the girls still show no interest whatsoever.

My son, no problem. No prodding necessary from me at all. I believe that if girls have an interest in engineering they will find it.

Anyone else have any experiences one way or the other?

(P.S. Not for lack of knowledge or teaching. My youngest daughter's skills in the Tech Ed class at the high school puts most of the boys' skills to shame but she's not interested in the field. She was the only one in her group who knew how to properly engineer the catapult and get it built. Actually, I find it shameful that the level of technical skills and knowledge in the young population in my area is abysmally low. My son has to help out his other male friends with mechanical tasks on their dirt bikes and cars/trucks that we would consider trivial. He's not interested in college so he is headed into the trades.)

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#4
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Re: Will You Introduce a Girl to Engineering?

02/25/2011 11:25 AM

I think engineers are born, not made. Male or female, people either gravitate to engineering, or not.

I've got three daughters also, ages 3-30. No interest with the older two, too early to tell with the three year old, although I think she's leaning toward artist, which could translate into some kind of engineering.

I've also got a nephew that is a natural born engineer. It's something to see. From the time he was little, he would go around finding little sticks and scraps in the yard, and the next thing you know, he'd have some kind of working little machine built. He's about 12 now. I look forward to seeing where he ends up. Right now he's fascinated with everything that has to do with weaponry.

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#5

Re: Will You Introduce a Girl to Engineering?

02/25/2011 11:36 AM

I don't recall ever being "introduced" to engineering.

I was born wanting to know how things were put together.

I have no doubt that far fewer women than men are born this way. There are differences between the sexes. But tendencies are not rules.

If a woman is born with this desire, the important thing is to remove the barriers that prevent her from acting upon it, such as "Nice girls don't work on cars..."

But the controlling influences start early.

How many girls do you see in "Transformers" or "Hot Wheels" commercials?

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#6

Re: Will You Introduce a Girl to Engineering?

02/25/2011 11:35 PM

During recent years many females prefer engineering profession particularly in IT but still for core branches like Mechanical ,Civil, Electrical there is huge gap. May be as time passes many more females may enter into this profession and lead males.

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#7

Re: Will You Introduce a Girl to Engineering?

02/26/2011 2:28 AM

Sharkles I already have.

My younger daughter is a Civil Engineer with an AD in Road Design and she is now working in Mining and doing the conversion to a Mining degree.

She was always Dad's little helper and knew her way arounfd the workshop machinery from a young age.

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#8

Re: Will You Introduce a Girl to Engineering?

02/28/2011 11:33 AM

I think you'd be suprised at how many females are already in engineering, I know of at least 10 and that's just those I've had classes with and doesn't include me.

As for one of the comments saying that most go into IT, I'd have to disagree, most of the female engineers I know are areonautical engineers or automotive engineers (strangly no mechanical engineers). I'd say that is the electrical engineering sector that has the least number of female engineers.

When I first decided to become an engineer I did get a lot of sexist comments (some were just playing around), but as I've progressed I've become more accepted. I'm no longer singled out because of my gender when I'm attending classes. It would have been nice if people around me when I was younger were more supportive of my career choice, but in the end the people who mattered supported me and have helped me get to where I am today.

In all, I don't think introducing girls to engineering is really necessary - we already know it's out there and if it's what we want to do, we'll do it.

Maybe instead of trying to introduce females to engineering, people should look at encouraging those who already have an interest.

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