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Introducing Engineering To Girl Scouts

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1996 Annual Conference


Washington, District of Columbia

Publication Date

June 23, 1996

Start Date

June 23, 1996

End Date

June 26, 1996



Page Count


Page Numbers

1.285.1 - 1.285.7

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Paper Authors

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Karen E. Schmahl

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

Session 2392


Karen E. Schmahl Miami University


One approach to attracting more young women to study engineering disciplines is to spark their interest in engineering early in their education (K-12). Several opportunities are available to introduce young women to engineering disciplines through alliance with local Girl Scouts of the USA councils. This paper describes the efforts of one such alliance and approach to introducing young women to engineering and technology.

The Manufacturing Engineering Department at the School of Applied Science, Miami University and the Great Rivers Girl Scout Council in the Cincinnati, Ohio, area combined efforts to develop a program to introduce engineering to Girl Scout members. A team of senior engineering students, with the author and Girl Scout Council guidance, have developed the framework for a workshop focusing on engineering design activities and teamwork as well as technology applications. Activities were targeted to sixth, seventh and eighth graders and enable participants to earn Girl Scout recognitions (badges) related to science and technology.


Miami University in Oxford, Ohio, has a small undergraduate engineering program with approximately 160 students in Manufacturing Engineering (ABET accredited) and another 90 students in the interdisciplinary Engineering Management program with a technical specialty in Manufacturing Engineering. All senior engineering students are required to take a two semester (two credit hours each semester with four credit hours of design) capstone course. In the first semester the students define and research an engineering or manufacturing related problem, develop and evaluate solutions and present their chosen designs. The second semester focuses on implementation of solutions and assessment of project outcomes. These senior design projects are often coordinated with industry or conducted within the university laboratories.

The Manufacturing Engineering Department is also very service oriented and has conducted numerous senior design projects for the benefit of non-profit organizations. The author’s involvement in the local Girl Scouting program recently led to two senior design projects. The first the involved the design and construction of a foot bridge at a local Girl Scout camp. The second project, less traditional in nature, was to design a program to introduce Girl Scouts to engineering.


The underlying reason for proposing the Girl Scout Engineering project was to attract more young women to study engineering disciplines by sparking their interest early in their education. Girl Scouts of the

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Schmahl, K. E. (1996, June), Introducing Engineering To Girl Scouts Paper presented at 1996 Annual Conference, Washington, District of Columbia.

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