WASHINGTON DC, – On February 20, 2014, women engineers, along with their male counterparts, will engage and mentor as many as one million girls around the country during the 13th Annual Introduce a Girl to Engineering Day. This empowering day is packed with workshops, lab tours, on-line discussions and interactive, hands-on activities at businesses, universities, libraries and other venues across the country. Introduce a Girl to Engineering Day is one of the tent pole events that make up Engineers Week 2014, February 16-22.
Many girls are convinced that engineering is a field that does not readily embrace female professionals. The inspiring message of Introduce a Girl to Engineering Day turns that assumption on its head. The next generation will see the end of the long held belief about engineering and gender, in which men have traditionally dominated. For young women interested in engineering, the walls are coming down, the ceiling is cracking and the opportunities have never been greater or more exciting.
In 2014, Girl Day is again highlighted by a live #STEMchat on Twitter, set for February 19th at 9:00 pm (ET). #STEMchat is a monthly Twitter conversation that brings together parents, educators and STEM professionals to share ideas and resources to raise STEM-loving kids. Moderated by The Maker Mom (www.themakermom.com), Kim Moldofsky (@KimMoldofsky), and featuring a group of savvy panelists committed to creating STEM career opportunities for girls, the chats are lively, informative and engaging.
Panelists for the Girl Day #STEMchat include DuPont Global Engineering Six Sigma Black Belt and Project Manager @ShermanJen (Jennifer Sherman) and @jonesamyk (Amy Jones), Product Engineer, Software Verification and Validation for @JohnDeere. Additional panelists include @Saving4Someday (Sara Hawkins), a popular blogger and vocal supporter of girls in STEM; @TechSavvyMama (Leticia Barr), a popular blogger who writes about family technology; @CentsibleLife (Kelly Whalen), whose kids are active in the VEX robotics league, and @ShellyKramer Founder + CEO of V3 Integrated Marketing. To participate in the #STEMchat, tweet ##Girlday2014 or #STEMchat.
This year’s chat focuses on the school-to-career track in engineering for girls, with a specific focus on inspiring, motivating and ultimately retaining girls in the field.
Find out more about Introduce a Girl to Engineering Day by watching this short video. The piece presents an inspiring overview of Girl Day activities and captures some of the most memorable and compelling moments from previous years. For additional information, visit http://www.discovere.org/our-programs/girl-day.
Major support for Introduce a Girl to Engineering Day 2014 is provided by ExxonMobil, Bechtel, Alcoa, IEEE-USA Agilent Technologies, Rockwell Collins, Northrop Grumman and TE Connectivity.
Some of the local activities planned for Girl Day, 2014 include:
• Bechtel’s Oil, Gas & Chemicals headquarters in Houston will host 100 Girl Scouts. Hosted by Bechtel’s employees, local Girl Scouts will participate in fun, hands-on exercises to teach them about careers in engineering, computers, electrical engineering, and civil engineering.
• ExxonMobil will offer activities to more than 2,500 students at 16 company locations around the country. More than 450 ExxonMobil employees will lead fun, hands-on activities highlighting oil and natural gas technology, water purification methods and the science of manufacturing cosmetics. Since 2003, nearly 10,000 students have participated in Girl Day activities at ExxonMobil facilities or through classroom demonstrations.
• At Rockwell Collins’ headquarters in Cedar Rapids, the company will host 100 8th-grade girls from area middle schools. Rockwell Collins volunteers will give tours, presentations and equipment demonstrations to show the girls engineering career possibilities. Since 2002, more the 1,000 girls have participated in this program.
• The Heart of Iowa Society of Women Engineers will be presenting a showing of the film Top Secret Rosies, about a top secret US military program that was launched during World War II to recruit women to the war effort. Unlike the efforts to recruit Rosie to the factory, this search targeted female mathematicians who would become human 'computers' for the US Army. The film shares a story of the women and technology that helped win a war and usher in the modern computer age.
• SHINE for Girls will be hosting a Boston/Cambridge wide event at the Boston Public Library The event will include numerous booths designed to give girls hands-on experience in fun engineering projects and problem solving. Girls from K-8 and their mothers are invited to come by and participate in the activities, meet other girls with similar interests, and meet women who are currently pursuing STEM fields.
• In Atlantic City, the American Engineering and Science Robotics Academy will host the Mother/Daughter Technology Engineering Aptitude (TEA). This event provides the opportunity for middle school girls to learn about and experience first‐hand what technical and engineering careers are, by paralleling real‐world engineering tasks and problem‐solving opportunities. Activities include building a tabletop hovercraft, hydraulic crane, catapult, and an Indy card car. Involving mothers exposes them to the kinds of engineering careers that are available to their daughters and is intended to influence them to encourage their daughters to learn more about engineering.
• For the fifth consecutive year, the Girl Scouts of Eastern South Carolina, the Lowcountry Section of the Society of Women Engineers and The Citadel will host an event on the Citadel campus for Girl Scout Juniors and Girl Scout Cadettes. Citadel engineering professors, cadets and engineering professionals from the community will lead the girls in three activities, including filtering water (environmental engineering), building a tilt lantern and creating a circuit to turn it on/off (electrical engineering and building a catapult (mechanical engineering).
• At Amphi Middle School in Tucson, women engineers from the community and from the University of Arizona will join 60 girls for lunch, where they will discuss the life of an engineer and what it takes to get there. A local group, MESA (Math Engineering Science Achievement), is creating an engineering challenge that the girls can work on during the event. Attendees will also be invited to attend an engineering event at the University of Arizona called Expand Your Horizons. And, finally, girls will be invited to a week long summer camp on engineering – at no cost to them. This Girl Day event is made possible by assistance of the Girl Scouts and the Blue Marble Institute.
• In Maryland, Prince George’s County Department of Parks & Recreation will be hosting Discover Engineering, Girl Day at South Tech/Rec in Ft. Washington, to show girls how creative, fun and, oh yes, glamorous engineering can be. Girls will participate in the Chemical Engineering Experience and learn how they can “Be an Engineer.”
DiscoverE 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, visit www.discovere.org.
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Michelle Lauren Addo
Sayles & Winnikoff Communications