Engineering Now | November 2009

Engineering - just not right without girls

By Shannon Lee

2009 Go ENG Girl

Universities across Ontario have created a program known as Go Eng Girl to help promote engineering to girls. This program teaches girls from grade 7 to grade 10 about the different types of engineering, what engineers do, and the importance of engineering.

I got a chance to sit in on the 2009 Go Eng Girl event and it was a lot of fun. The girls who attended this Go Eng Girl event were separated into 2 groups – one for grade 7 and 8 girls, the other for girls in grades 9 and 10.

The grade 7 and 8 students made air powered rockets and had a competition to see which rocket worked best.

“We built rockets and learned how to make them fly well,” explained Lily Nicholls.

This project allowed the girls to explore mechanical engineering.

Meanwhile, the grade 9 and 10 students worked on an egg drop project. They had to build a device that would protect an egg while it was dropped from a certain height. Fortunately, none of the eggs broke!

After the girls finished their projects, everyone came back together and listened to a guest speaker, Michelle Chislett, who talked about her company’s solar farm and how much team work was put into creating it by engineers.

“It’s fun and coming with friends makes it even better,” said participants, Rebecca Zhao and Alice Miao.

Overall, this program is really interesting. It gives young girls a great opportunity to experience engineering first hand. It also gives them the opportunity to talk to female engineers and get their perspective on what many consider a man’s job or something only a nerd would do.

What’s really important is that it’s fun and most girls thought it wasn’t. Western did a great job of hosting this event and I definitely recommend Go Eng Girl to anyone wants a closer look at what engineers do.

View photos on Flickr.

For this article about Go ENG Girl 2009 Western Engineering welcomed guest reporter Shannon Lee, a Grade 10student at Catholic Central High School in London. Shannon is the daughter of Engineering staff member Diana Lee and Derek Lee from the Richard Ivey School of Business.

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.: Allison Stevenson
Spencer Engineering Building, Room 2074
Phone: (519) 850-2917 Fax: (519) 661-3808