Tara Pratap Ebsworth
I have been the lead organizer for Ximedica’s Youth Engineering Outreach Program for the past two years. Our annual initiatives include Introduce a Girl to Engineering Day (or Girl Day), a collaboration with DiscoverE. We draw upon DiscoverE’s resources including activities and mentoring advice. Our events aim to give students the opportunity to discover the amazing world of engineering firsthand. We team up with local schools attended by students from a variety of socio-economic and cultural backgrounds.
For each of our events, our team creates an exciting day of engineering activities, discussions with our engineers, and a tour of our facility. In the past, attendees have created a secret treasure box that sets off an alarm when opened, built chairs out of newspaper, created ‘helping hands’ to aid them in a variety of tasks, and designed toothbrush robots. The students and volunteers have a wonderful time learning from each other and working together. At the end of our events, we ask the girls to share what they want to be when they grow up. After last year’s Introduce a Girl to Engineering Day, one student said she was now conflicted. “I’ve always wanted to be a baker, but now I also want to be an engineer.” We assured her that she could be both!
Girl Day is important for the growth of our engineering community. In most STEM industries, it can be difficult to find female role models. As a queer woman of color, I have had an especially difficult time feeling represented in my industry. I am happy to have found DiscoverE, and to have joined them as a Girl Day Ambassador and a Role Model. They connect me to resources for leading our outreach events, and to a network of other strong women in engineering who are passionate about increasing diversity in our field. Join me as a Girl Day Role Model.
Tara Pratap Ebsworth is a Mechanical Engineer at Ximedica with a Mechanical Engineering degree from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.