What do you get when you put 200 teenage girls in a room with 60 female engineers, and add a few of our hands-on engineering challenges?
This past November, Design Squad Nation partnered with the Society of Women Engineers and Girl Scouts of the USA to host an event in Orlando, Florida called Invent It. Build It. The goal was to give girls an opportunity to learn more about the engineering profession.
Judy Lee gave a rousing keynote speech and challenged the girls to get their engineer on with Pop Fly, Kick Stick, and Electric Gamebox. SWE's professional and collegiate members were on hand to advise when needed and share stories and experiences from their work.
The match-up was a huge success! The girls worked side by side with talented female engineers, asked them questions, and learned about different kinds of engineering jobs. At the end of the day, there were wild cheers for the great project designs created, but the excitement ran deeper than that. The girls' perceptions of engineering actually changed and we saw just how powerful the mentor/mentee relationship can be.
You can cultivate the same experience for your kids and it doesn't have to be at a large-scale event. Reach out to engineering firms, universities, and organizations in your community to find volunteer mentors. Give your kids a chance to become future engineers, too.
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