In an industry dominated by men, being an engineer may not be the first thing that comes to mind when female students are asked what career path they want to take. According to the Congressional Joint Economic Committee only 14 percent of engineers are women. In an effort to help young women become aware of the opportunities in engineering Boise State University’s College of Engineering teamed up with the Society of Women Engineers and WTS Transportation and also T-O Engineers’ Robyn Kennedy to host e-Girls.
e-Girls is a free two-day adventure for girls currently in 9th-11th grade and are exploring careers in engineering and computer science. 50 girls across the state of Idaho are chosen through an application process to attend the program offering workshops in Biomechanics of Footwear, Packaging and the Environment, Designing for Natural Disasters, Rocketing into Space, Robotics in Healthcare, Computer Programming, Microbiology, Virtual Worlds with Alice, Physics of Rock Climbing, A World of Career Choices, and more.
Robyn Kennedy, an Engineer In Training (EIT) at T-O Engineers said she volunteered at e-girls as a mentor because she wanted the opportunity to inspire young girls.
“I was fortunate enough to job shadow a female civil engineer my junior year of high school. Through her, I was able to get a glimpse of what being a civil engineer looked like,” said Kennedy. “I was also encouraged because she was a female in the field, which I knew would be pretty rare.”
e-Girls has been hosted annually at Boise State University since 2005, with over 400 participants to date. 50 percent of all participants have continued to purse a STEM career in college. T-O Engineers along with all the other participants of e-Girls will continue inspiring young girls to become Professional Engineers
“My experience helped to solidify my decision to pursue engineering,” said Kennedy. “Seeing someone in the position you want is so encouraging. You can’t help but think; if they got there, then I can too."
For more information about e-Girls please visit: http://coen.boisestate.edu/k-12/summer-programs/
For more information about Society of Women Engineers Southwest Idaho please visit: http://www.swiswe.org/
For more information about WTS Transportation Treasure Valley please visit: http://www.wtsinternational.org/treasure_valley/