Introduce A Girl to Engineering Day Set for February 24 With Goal of Reaching 10,000 Girls

Leaders from both the public and private sectors have spoken loudly: We as a nation must increase the numbers of well trained and educated engineers if we are to remain competitive on the global stage.  With that urgent call as a backdrop, it becomes critical that girls and women take their place among our next generation of engineering leaders. 
 
Starting February 24, women engineers and their male counterparts will mentor and reach as many as one million girls around the country with workshops, tours, on-line discussions and a host of hands-on activities at local businesses, universities and libraries for the 10th annual of Introduce a Girl to Engineering Day.  This year, Engineers Week puts the ‘G’ in engineering in an even bigger way and takes the annual event to new heights with its special 10 for 10 anniversary campaign, a multi-faceted effort intended to reach 10,000 10-year-old girls with positive engineering experiences. 10 for 10 launches nationally on Introduce a Girl to Engineering Day and runs for 10 weeks, concluding on May 8, Mother’s Day. National Engineers Week Foundation will collect information about events and count girls reached. All events deliver the message that a career in engineering is within the grasp of every young woman looking to play a role in addressing the issues her generation will face as it comes of age. Introduce a Girl to Engineering Day is one of the tent pole events that make up National Engineers Week 2011, February 20-26, 2011.

In addition to National Engineers Week Foundation, the organizers of the 10 for 10 initiative include National Girls Collaborative Project, Girls RISEnet/ASTC Girl Scouts of the USA, AAUW, Sci-Girls (PBS), Society for Women Engineers, Women in Engineering ProActive Network (WEPAN), and National Coalition of Girls Schools.

Raytheon Company, one of the co-chairs of National Engineers Week, has been a strong corporate advocate of engineering-focused programs that reach out to young people.

“The vision of this collaborative initiative is to broaden the way girls and young women look at engineering - to help them see the creative and relevant work that engineers do,” said Karen Peterson, Principal Investigator for National Girls Collaborative Project and CEO of EdLab Group.  “This year’s 10 for 10 campaign is particularly exciting because it leverages many powerful partnerships to reach more girls at a younger age and for a sustained period of time.”

Some of the many local activities planned for Girl Day 2011 include:

·         Miami Science Museum will celebrate the 10th anniversary of Introduce A Girl to Engineering Day on Saturday, February 26th from 12-4 p.m. The Society of Women Engineers and Engineers Without Borders will lead activities and demonstrations on various engineering topics. There will also be informative presentations geared towards students who may be interested in engineering as a career from Irene Fraga of Fraga Engineering and Stephanie Gillespie of SWE.

·         Rockwell Collins will host 5th - 8th grade girls from the Meskawki Tribe in Tama and Cedar Rapids middle schools for tours, hands-on activities and one to one time with female engineers. Girls will be invited to bring along a parent or significant adult in their life in addition to their teacher(s). Adults will spend time touring labs and learning about Rockwell Collins outreach activities and how best to talk with young women about career choices and education in STEM fields.

·         At 14 company locations, ExxonMobil engineers will engage middle-school students with presentations, hands-on experiments and demonstrations.  Through site outings at ExxonMobil offices and classroom visits, more than 400 ExxonMobil volunteers will impact nearly 3,000 students. Local activities include demonstrations on how the industry uses 3D technology to search for oil and natural gas; water purification experiments; bridge-building with straws; exploring the science of manufacturing lipstick; and panel discussions with practicing engineers. 

·         The University of Texas at Austin, a WEPAN member, is holding its annual Women in Engineering Program, giving first through eighth grade students the chance to do fun grade-specific, hands-on engineering activities and interact with students, professors and engineers from the industry.  Participating Girl Scouts receive a Girl Day patch available through partnership with the Girl Scouts of Central Texas. Last year’s event concluded with an exciting interactive show from Science in the Movies showcasing the engineering and science behind movie stunts.

·         The University of Miami will bring over 100 local high school girls to campus to learn about engineering.  Activities for the day include team competitions for the students in an engineering challenge and tours of various engineering labs with active demonstrations by graduate students and professors. A professional engineer introduces the students to the real world of engineering during lunch. 

·         Siemens Industry, Inc. in West Chicago, IL will hold its seventh annual Introduce a Girl to Engineering event.  The event is for girls in 5th through 12th grade and will be hosted by woman engineers.  Girls who attend will complete fun experiments associated with different engineering disciplines.   Other highlights will include a short video about engineering and a factory tour.

·         The Women in Science and Engineering Roundtable (WISER) at Case Western Reserve University (CWRU) will host middle school students from schools in the Cleveland area and visit labs in different departments in the Case School of Engineering (CSE).   In each lab, students will learn more about the research that is done there and will participate in a related, hands-on activity.  WISER students will serve as â coaches to the middle school students and will escort students throughout campus and assist with laboratory activities. The day long activities also include a pizza lunch for all middle school students, their teachers, WISER volunteers and faculty hosts and guests. 

·        The Baltimore Chapter of the Women's Transportation Seminar (WTS) is working with the Baltimore Engineers Club and has invited girls from schools in Maryland to attend its Girl Day event.   Women engineers are the featured speakers, including the current WTS scholarship winner who is attending Morgan State University and completing her civil engineering degree.  There will also be a group team building activity and an interactive lunch provided by the Engineers Club.


National Engineers Week Foundation’s commitment to girls and women does not stop with Introduce a Girl to Engineering Day.  From March 7-12, Engineers Week presents the Global Marathon For, By and About Women in Engineering and Technology, an annual worldwide forum connecting professional women, college students and girls for virtual and in-person conversations about education and careers in engineering and technology.

Visit http://www.eweek.org/EngineersWeek/Introduce.aspx to access Girl Day activities nationwide.

Major support for Introduce a Girl to Engineering Day 2011 is provided by ExxonMobil Corporation, Motorola Foundation, S. D. Bechtel, Jr. Foundation, Rockwell Collins and Agilent Technologies.  Additional support is provided by the National Science Foundation (NSF). 

About Engineers Week
The National Engineers Week Foundation, a formal coalition of more than 100 professional societies, major corporations and government agencies, is dedicated to ensuring a diverse and well-educated future engineering workforce by increasing understanding of and interest in engineering and technology careers among young students and by promoting pre-college literacy in math and science.  Engineers Week also raises public understanding and appreciation of engineers' contributions to society.  Founded in 1951, it is among the oldest of America's professional outreach efforts.  Co-chairs for 2011 are Raytheon and the American Society of Heating, Refrigerating and Air-Conditioning Engineers (ASHRAE).

For more information about National Engineers Week Foundation, visit www.eweek.org.
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