Salt Lake City, Utah
June 23, 2018
June 23, 2018
July 27, 2018
Women in Engineering
To most it would seem that the U.S. (and the world) has improved leaps and bounds in their view of women in the workforce, yet representation of women in STEM remains low (only up 5% since 1993). In engineering specifically, women only make up 13% of the workforce (up from 9% in 1990). Gender stereotypes persist today, even after decades of campaigns to change that. It is critical that girls are shown at an early age that women can be engineers and scientists. This will help them combat false stereotypes and remove obstacles between them and a career in these fields. To this end, we have developed a highly successful outreach program that focuses on showing elementary and middle school-aged girls how fun and exciting a career in STEM can be. Hands-on activities emphasize creativity and allow girls to explore STEM without being judged, worrying about what grade they might receive, or dealing the potentially inhibitory or suppressive presence of boys. The activities are designed to leverage girls’ existing interests by showing how STEM fields require creativity, can improve lives, or can make the world a better place. Over one-thousand girls between the ages of 3 and 13 have participated in the last three years, and feedback demonstrates that the event has been successful at getting girls interested in engineering. This paper will detail how to plan and implement a successful event to interest young girls in engineering utilizing industry partners, student organizations, and fun girls-only activities.
Prosise, J. F., & Romatoski, R. R., & Stonedahl, S. H., & Shi, Y. (2018, June), Inspiring girls to pursue STEM (ages three to thirteen): a recipe for a successful outreach event Paper presented at 2018 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition , Salt Lake City, Utah. https://peer.asee.org/30672
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