On February 23, 2013, the Miami Science Museum celebrated Introduce a Girl to Engineering Day with showcases by local engineering organizations and students, hands-on activities, and career awareness panel discussion featuring female engineers sharing their stories.
National Engineers Week Foundation coordinates events throughout the country each year, and connected Girls RISEnet staff at the Museum with IBM, who arranged for Sandra Parra, an IBM software engineer in South Florida, to participate in the event.
Organizations that provided speakers, volunteers and hands-on activities included IBM, Johnson Controls, SWE chapters from University of Miami and Florida International University, Tau Beta PI chapter at FIU, Girls Scouts of Tropical Florida, United States Air Force, and the American Society of Civil Engineers.
Over 210 participating K-12 students (male and female) were provide free entrance to the museum thanks to generous funding provided by Douglas Elliman-Florida and Morgan Energy Corporation and the Cuban American Association of Civil Engineers.
Introduce a Girl to Engineering is a national movement that shows girls how creative and collaborative engineering is and how engineers are changing our world. With the resources of the nation’s professional engineering community behind it, Introduce a Girl to Engineering Day raises awareness so that girls and young women feel empowered to pursue challenging, lucrative, creative and potentially world-changing careers in science, technology, engineering and math (STEM). Introduce a Girl to Engineering Day is one of the tent pole events that make up National Engineers Week 2013, February 17-23, 2013.
Visit the Introduce a Girl to Engineering page to find resources for planning and registering your event!
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Thanks to funding from a Girls RISEnet mini-grant, Exploration Place, located in Witchita, Kansas, was able to partner with Carpenter Place – a residential setting where girls ages 6 thru 21 come to receive treatment – to conduct outreach instruction focused on crime scene investigation, chemistry, engineering/robotics, and nanotechnology. The girls worked through three hours of STEM‐focused activities during the months of November and December, and had the opportunity to meet a female crime scene investigator, chemist who works with nanotechnology and an engineer.
Above: Carpenter Place youth exploring hands-on nano activities.
Twelve girls participated examined crime scene evidence including hair, fingerprints, blood spatter and soil as well as identified a missing person through skeletal remains; experimented with color changing chemicals and endo/exothermic reactions; explored nanotechnology through a variety of activities and experiments; built and programmed robots using LEGO Mindstorms and worked with a member of the Society of Women Engineers to build bridges. The program ended with a trip to the museum in which the girls enjoyed the exhibits, participated in a nano‐focused gallery activity, a live science show, and dome show. Without Girls RISENet, this collaboration would not have been possible. It opened the door for a relationship between Exploration Place and the Carpenter Place and we look forward to continuing! Thanks Girls RISENet!
Educators from Maryland and Pennsylvania spent the evening exploring unique opportunities to engage girls in technology at the Maryland Science Center, Girls RISEnet Mid-Atlantic regional hub, in Baltimore, MD. The beginning of the evening provided a framework by identifying the gap that exists in the number of female versus male college students choosing to pursue careers in engineering and computer science. Participants than tried their hand at a range of technology, including simple circuits, unique applications of solar power, and human interface devices such as Arduinos and Makey Makeys.
Dr. Matthew Durington from Towson University challenged educators to consider the role that culture, identity, and perceptions of race play in shaping us as individuals durng a half-day regional workshop hosted by the Maryland Science Center. He provided a framework to consider our own perceptions and to think about how the experiences of students create a backdrop for their educational interactions. The conversation also provided an overview of the themes used in the current Maryland Science Center travelling exhibit, RACE: Are We So Different?
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