Young women learn about
It was a fairly exclusive club – no boys were allowed,
Instead, about 40 young women converged June 13-14 at Boise State University for the fourth annual E-Girls Workshop to learn that engineering can be fun and a suitable profession for women.
Monica Crider, ITD engineer, and Erika Stoddard, an ITD engineer in training, told the high school sophomores and juniors that “scientists typically research and discover new theories and engineers apply them to create solutions.”
“Engineers can be fun people, not boring ‘shoe watchers,’” Crider said.
Crider and Stoddard introduced workshop participants to a tower-building exercise using gumdrops, toothpicks, drinking straws and clay as construction materials. The goal of the exercise was to build the tallest freestanding tower in 10 minutes.
“ITD needs to participate in outreach to promote engineering,” Crider said. “We need to educate the up-and-coming students by providing examples that show positive impacts to everyday life made possible through engineering.”
Stoddard said the e-Girls workshop was an excellent opportunity to interact with young women interested in mathematical or scientific fields and promote ITD as a great choice for civil engineering.
“I think girls typically want careers that ‘make a difference’ and enable them to help people, earn good salaries and have flexibility in their jobs,” Stoddard said. “Unfortunately, engineers are stereotypically perceived to be introverts agonizing over complicated math problems in dark rooms, wearing unfashionable attire and never seeing the light of day.”
Society of Women Engineers’ professionals and BSU students led participants through a variety of engineering-related activities during the two-day workshop. Some of the topics covered included Solving Forensic Mysteries, the Biomechanics of Footwear, the Physics of Rock Climbing and Tie-Dye Chromatography.
Most of the young women attending the program were from Idaho, but a few traveled from Montana, according to Leandra Aburusa, workshop coordinator.