Girls Discover Their Potential as Engineers and Learn How They Can Play a Role in Addressing The Next Generation’s Most Pressing Issues
Mentors and Other Volunteers Are Mobilized through Engineers Week’s
One Million Hours Initiative
WASHINGTON DC, January 13 – Women are severely under-represented in the engineering profession. Currently only 20 percent of engineering undergraduates are women. Only ten percent of the engineering work force is women. Research shows that girls and young women lose interest in the fields of study leading to engineering careers by the time they enter college. Even academically prepared girls capable of pursuing engineering in college often don’t consider it as an option. With this in mind, National Engineers Week Foundation is launching the 9th annual Introduce a Girl to Engineering Day, slated for Thursday, February 19, 2009.
With the resources of the nation’s professional engineering community behind it, Girl Day raises awareness so that girls and young women will feel empowered to pursue a challenging, lucrative, creative and potentially world-changing career 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 2009, February 15-21.
On February 19, 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. All of these events deliver the message that a career in engineering is within the grasp of every young woman who is looking to play a role in addressing the issues her generation will face as it comes of age, such as finding new energy sources, addressing global climate change and re-building our nation’s infrastructure.
To quantify the global outreach efforts of engineer volunteers donating their time to support STEM education – such as Girl Day - National Engineers Week Foundation recently launched the One Million Hours Initiative. Beginning January 1, 2009, mentors and other volunteers are able to log in and track their volunteer hours at www.eweek.org as a way of showing the world the collective strength of their efforts.
Agilent Technologies, Inc. and the Motorola Foundation are lead sponsors for Introduce a Girl to Engineering Day 2009, with additional funding from the S.D. Bechtel, Jr. Foundation.
“Agilent’s sponsorship of Introduce a Girl to Engineering Day 2009, is part of our long-standing support for science education and our strong commitment to the future of technology innovation,” said Terry Lincoln, Manager, Global Signature Programs for Agilent. “We’re excited to be associated with Engineers Week, and we continue our commitment to ‘inspiring the scientists and engineers of tomorrow’.”
“We continue to face enormous work force and U.S. competitiveness challenges,” said Craig R. Barrett, Chairman of the Board, Intel Corporation and Honorary Chair, Engineers Week 2009. “We must increase the public awareness of engineering to sustain our capacity for innovation, attract young people to engineering careers, and increase technological literacy critical to global competitiveness.”
Some of the activities planned for Girl Day, 2009 include:
- TheEngineer Your Life campaign,whose goal is to impact the way engineering careers are presented to andperceived by college-bound girls. The Engineer Your Life website, a guide to engineering for highschool girls, is at www.engineeryourlife.org.
- TheGeorgia Engineering Alliance,incollaboration with IBM and Georgia Tech Women in Engineering, is hosting a day of activities for 300 middle schoolgirls on Saturday, February 14. Events will include hands on activities, an engineer’sinformational forum, an essay contest and a parent’s program. Alsoincluded is a luncheon with a keynote from Marsha Anderson Bomar, founder andpresident of Street Smarts.
- ExxonMobil will be hosting events for girls at 14 of its company locations, with more than 400 volunteers reaching more than 3000 students.
- Google is hostingstudent visits to its engineering offices nation-wide, with a focus onstudents that are traditionally underrepresented in computing andtechnology, such as girls, minorities, and the economicallydisadvantaged. Activities includeoffice scavenger hunts and tours, lunch with "Google Buddies",hands-on workshops introducing students to concepts in computer science,career panels, and fun product workshops where student get to learn aboutthe technology behind some of Google's products.
- ChabotSpace & Science Center’s Techbridge, the Oakland, CA afterschool andsummer program that encourages girls in technology, science andengineering, will offer firsthand experience on what it is like to work asan engineer. Through visits to Chevron’s headquarters, Techbridge studentswill meet volunteers, engage in hands-on activities, and learn about careerpaths in engineering.
Visit http://www.eweek.org/EngineersWeek/Introduce.aspx to access Girl Day activities nationwide.
strong>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 2009 are Intel Corporation and the National Society of Professional Engineers. For more information, visit www.eweek.org.
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