People used to believe that girls weren’t good at science and math; my high school physics teacher thought it was just luck when I got the high score on our weekly quiz. Until I aced statistics in graduate school, I thought I couldn’t do math. When my nephew was checking out the College of Engineering at Iowa State University 3 years ago, I went with him and my brother (his dad) to an engineering day. I can honestly say that until that day, I thought engineering might be one of the most boring fields he could go into. But the Engineering Leadership Program changed that perception; the students had us design a solution for an African village without clean water. Since I’d experienced just such a village in Zambia, the experience showed me the key role that engineers play in solving the world’s problems.
We need more women to pursue careers in engineering; women bring a unique perspective to communication, problem solving and relationship skills and orientation. Women with engineering and other science and math degrees will find a much friendlier job market when they graduate! Here are some resources for exploring engineering and related careers–
- CanTEEN is an award winning Web site designed to “engage, educate and embrace girls as architects of change.” There are resources on their site for girls 11-17 years old, their parents, teachers and youth workers.
- A couple years ago they sponsored a contest to find out “what’s in your makeup;” here you’ll find resources for decision making, activism and the contest winners.
- This link will take you to fun stuff to do to feed your brain.
- CanTEEN has some competitions for girls interested in STEM careers.
- Check out some women engineers here.
- The National Engineers Week Foundation has a whole page of activities for Kindergarten through 12th grade classroom and after-school programs.