Thanks to everyone who joined in for last week’s fantastic chat on Girls in Engineering: School to Career. I especially want to thank our sponsor, DiscoverE and our terrific group of panelists.
Twitter chats are so ephermeral, but I try to give them a longer life by capturing themes and sharing links from the chat.
Overall, it sounds like a lot of people are working hard to introduce girls to engineering as a career option and give them the support they need to stay keep on with it through their school years. It’s up to you and me–all of us- to make sure girls and their parents and teachers know about these wonderful resources!
We started out discussing how we position engineering to young women (think middle and high school age). Replies included a focus on problem-solving, creativity and opportunities to make the world a better place through engineering. Chat sponsor, DiscoverE, provides helpful conversation starters to help young people understand what engineering is all about.
Then we moved on to the more resource-intensive portions of the chat as you’ll see below.
Activities and opportunities that help high school girls explore engineering and bring engineering into daily life:
- DiscoverE – has useful resources on their site, including activities, and brings engineers into schools to meet with students. They also sponsor Introduce a Girl to Engineering Day.
- Engineering Messages, a website dedicated to promoting broad implementation of the findings and recommendations presented in the Changing the Conversation Report.
- Expanding Your Horizons Network inspires girls to pursue STEM opportunities.
- Not just for girls, FIRST, inspires young people to be science and technology leaders. They sponsor STEM challenges that include a popular robotics competition.
- Project Lead The Way (PLTW) is a school-based STEM curriculum. In our local high schools, PLTW is considered a pre-engineering track. These schools plan to offer the first year classes in a girls-only class as well as a co-ed one.
If you’re in the right place at the right time, check these out:
- Chicago Pre-College Science and Engineering Program – providing hands on science and engineering activities for Chicago Public School students
- Community Bridges – a non-profit organization that provides empowerment and leadership programs for diverse girls in the Silver Spring, MD area (though not necessarily with a STEM focus)
- Girls of Steel Robotics – an all girls robotics team based in Pittsburgh
- STEMisphere – Part of the Carnegie Science Center in Pittsburgh
- USA Science and Engineering Festival – a yearly festival that takes place in Washington D.C.
- American Society of Civil Engineers
- American Society of Mechanical Engineers
- Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers – USA (also one of the #GirlDay2014 sponsors)
- National Society of Black Engineers
- National Society of Professional Engineers
- Society of Women Engineers
Girls-only activities and classes
#STEMchat panelist Sara Hawkins, the mom of an engineering-minded daughter wrote about this. The general consensus was that while it might not be the right way to go for all girls, many understand the benefits of single-sex groups.
Camps and Classes
- Camp Invention – a summer camp program that focuses on creativity, innovation, problem-solving and invention
- Code Academy – learn computer coding for free
- Code.org is a website that teaches children (and adults) about computer coding
- Destination Imagination – a program that encourages teams in STEM, arts, and service learning
- Future City Competition – a competition for middle school students to design and build cities of the future
- Girl Scouts Imagine Engineering Program
- Sally Ride Science Camp – hands on camps for girls entering 4th-9th grade
Games, Apps and Television Shows
- A round-up of Rainbow Loom tutorials and still more from Cool Mom Picks
- Coaster Crafter – an on-line game in which you build a virtual roller coaster. Aimed at kids grade 6-12
- Common Sense Media – A list of STEM apps compiled by Common Sense Media
- Design Squad – a PBS reality tv show where middle- and high-school students design machines
- Einstein in a Box – subscription service in which you receive a box to complete a STEM activity at home (for ages 8+)
- Janet Stephen’s You Tube Channel discussing historical hair styles based on archeological research
- SciGirls – a PBS tv show aimed at elementary and middle school aged girls that focuses on STEM
- Student Science Science Activities for the whole family
- Ten Gifts to Inspire STEM Learning via Babble.com
- The Maker Mom’s top picks for STEM gifts 2013 and 2012
Scholarship opportunities for girls in engineering
- Buick Achievers Scholarship Program
- Engineer Girl provides a list of scholarships as well as contests and competitions
- Society of Women Engineers Scholarship Opportunities
- U.S. Department of Education College Affordability and Transparency Center does not provide scholarships, but helps students and their families better understand and compare college costs.
- The Federal Student Aid Website may also prove helpful.
Engineering role models
More Great Ideas
- Society of Women Engineers made this inspiring downloadable poster
- As part of a recent blog tour I ran for DiscoverE, several bloggers wrote about girls in engineering, including #STEMchat panelist Kris Cain
- DiscoverE’s 10 Reasons to Love Engineering
- The 2013 Girl Day STEMchat was full of ideas and resources aimed at a slightly younger audience
Look for details soon regarding our next chat on Tuesday March 19, as we talk Women in STEM for Women’s History Month thanks to Georgia-Pacific. Sign up here to receive a free reminder along with hot posts from The Maker Mom.
You can also join in for a Google+ hangout on gifted kids and college admissions on March 6 and our first STEMchatOnAir (on G+) on March 26!