Spotlight on Youth: Introduce a girl to engineering day

Published: Nov. 27, 2019 at 10:49 AM AKST
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Female representation has come a long way in the American workforce but it hasn’t been evenly spread across the board. In some STEM fields there are still major discrepancies. That’s why ExxonMobil, Girl Scouts of Alaska and the Anchorage School District combined their efforts to put on “introduce a girl to engineering day” at the Egan center this November.

“Sometimes I think that events like this are the first time that young women are exposed to days just for them for the career fields of science, engineering and mathematics,” said ASD Superintendent Dr. Deena Bishop.

For about 120 middle school age girls this presentation introduces young girls to current engineers, pairs them with other like-minded young ladies, and ran them through a battery of experiments to stoke their imagination.

“It's been really cool seeing all what engineers do and doing it too,” said student attendee Charlotte Cruickshanks.

From a tower building competition, to team exercises and other experiments all around the room, this opportunity is built to show the next generation of engineers some of the possibilities in this career field.

“I think it's just being able to see someone like themselves and that is the whole point of this event,” said Brittany Brown, community relations advisor for ExxonMobil.

“It was really inspiring seeing other women in this type of field because I don't really know any women engineers so it was pretty cool seeing that,” Cruickshanks said.

How much this will impact the decisions and directions of the young ladies attending this event remains to be seen, but what’s clear, is that exposure to the possibilities out there certainly has had an impact.

“Its really good. It's a good opportunity to meet people interested in this type of stuff because there aren't a lot of girls interested in math,” Cruickshanks continued.

More women in STEM fields means more and different voices, which could potentially lead to new and diverse solutions.

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