June 22, 2008
June 22, 2008
June 25, 2008
Women in Engineering
13.497.1 - 13.497.7
EngineerGirl! A Website to Introduce Middle School Girls to Engineering
In 1997, the National Academy of Engineering launched the EngineerGirl! website (http://www.engineergirl.org/ . The intent of this website is to actively target the gender gap in engineering through marketing efforts aimed at middle school girls. This paper and the associated poster present the EngineerGirl! website, its various facets and activities, and presents data which indicates how well it is utilized and received by girls in the 6th through 8th grades.
Initially launched in 1997, the EngineerGirl! website is an interactive, engaging means of informing and encouraging diverse young women to explore careers in engineering. It was designed with the assistance of middle and high school young women from across the United States and Canada who worked together on the Girl’s Advisory Board (GAB). The result of their initial efforts was a website that brought together role models of women engineers who provided real world examples of how they became engineers. The primary theme of the EngineerGirl! website is to focus on how girls can make a difference in society through becoming engineers.
In 2004, the GAB was again assembled through a series of on-line chats. The results of their analysis of the then current website indicated their desire for a more interactive, engaging website. They also participated in pilot testing of website template designs. The result is the EngineerGirl! website in its current format – an interactive, informative medium which encourages young girls to both learn about engineering and imagine themselves as an engineer. Emphasis is placed on providing content that inspires the young women and that challenges them to make a difference in the world through pursuing engineering careers. There are numerous sections of the website, some of which are detailed below.
Gallery of Women Engineers
This section of the website highlights successful women engineers in a variety of professions. It includes profiles of over 110 women engineers, some historical and some current. For example
• Emily Roebling (1843–1903), an engineer who oversaw day-to-day construction of the Brooklyn Bridge after her engineer husband fell ill • Grace Murray Hopper (1906–1992), an engineer involved in the development of the first computers • Shruti Pai, a biomedical engineer who works for the Center of Excellence for Limb Loss Prevention and Prosthetic Engineering • Ayanna Howard, who worked on the next generation Mars rover while employed at NASA Jet Propulsion laboratory
Watford, B., & Didion, C., & Paddock, P., & Jenniches, S., & Gildea, A., & Gramling, K., & Zornes, G. (2008, June), Engineergirl: A Website To Introduce Middle School Girls To Engineering Paper presented at 2008 Annual Conference & Exposition, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. https://peer.asee.org/4218
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