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Engineer Your Life: Talking To High School Girls About Engineering

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2008 Annual Conference & Exposition


Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania

Publication Date

June 22, 2008

Start Date

June 22, 2008

End Date

June 25, 2008



Conference Session

Women in Engineering Division Poster Session

Tagged Division

Women in Engineering

Page Count


Page Numbers

13.496.1 - 13.496.7



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Paper Authors


Thea Sahr WGBH Educational Foundation

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Focusing on science and engineering projects such as Design Squad, ZOOM, Building Big, and Pathways to Technology, Ms. Sahr has extensive experience conceptualizing national outreach initiatives and working with project teams to develop multimedia educational materials (e.g., activity guides, curricula for after-school providers, online training resources for professionals, web sites, etc.) Building relationships with national partners representing teachers, museums, engineers, scientists, and after-school providers, has resulted in tens of thousands of children exploring science and engineering with WGBH resources. In addition, Ms. Sahr has facilitated training workshops around the country where educators learn how to incorporate WGBH's educational resources into their programming and engineers and scientists learn how to engage youth. Ms. Sahr has her M.Ed. from Boston University.

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Natalie Hebshie WGBH Educational Foundation

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NOTE: The first page of text has been automatically extracted and included below in lieu of an abstract

Engineer Your Life: Talking to High School Girls About Engineering


In 2004, members of the engineering community formed a coalition to examine the question: “Why are academically prepared girls not enrolling in engineering degree programs?” Qualitative consumer research was conducted with high school girls, school counselors, and engineers that found that current messages regarding engineering emphasize “the necessity of superior math and science skills” as well as the notion that engineering is “a challenging and stressful career”—messages that have little relevance to high school girls.

In 2007, the coalition developed and tested new messages about engineering. Three compelling messages—creativity has its rewards, explore the possibilities, and make a world of difference— are now the centerpiece of a national campaign designed to encourage college bound girls to consider engineering. The campaign will introduce high school girls to young women engineers who embody these messages; showcase engineering careers and illustrate that an education in engineering is both desirable and within their reach; help school counselors and teachers better understand engineering and give them the resources and training they need to advise students; and, mobilize America’s more than one million engineers with compelling resources, training, and messages to use in their ongoing outreach efforts.

Sahr, T., & Hebshie, N. (2008, June), Engineer Your Life: Talking To High School Girls About Engineering Paper presented at 2008 Annual Conference & Exposition, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. 10.18260/1-2--3735

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