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Talking to High School Girls about Engineering Photo Credit: Tom Coughlin, Nicaragua Summer Exchange 2007.

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Presentation on theme: "Talking to High School Girls about Engineering Photo Credit: Tom Coughlin, Nicaragua Summer Exchange 2007."— Presentation transcript:

1 Talking to High School Girls about Engineering Photo Credit: Tom Coughlin, Nicaragua Summer Exchange 2007

2 Project Overview Inspire college-bound girls to explore engineering Provide resources for adult influencers—parents, counselors and teachers, and engineers   Brochures, posters, and postcards  EYL tables at college fairs  Training for counselors and engineers

3 Today’s Agenda Group Discussion Research Results Advising Students Spreading the Word

4 What do high school girls think about engineering? What do their parents think? What type of person do you think is most suited to be an engineer? Group Discussion

5 Project History Less than 20% of students enrolled in engineering degree programs are women, yet more women are now pursuing college degrees than men Girls take math and science courses at the same rates as boys, and perform as well as or better In 2004, 55 engineering groups formed a coalition to explore “why aren’t college-bound girls choosing engineering?”

6 Research Gauge high school girls’ level of interest in and awareness of careers in the engineering field Assess general career motivators and barriers to the engineering field Evaluate current messages being put forward to the target audience by the engineering community Explore messaging opportunities for increasing enrollment in the engineering field

7 Engineering is for people who LOVE both math and science Don’t know what engineering is Aren’t interested in the field nor do they think it is “for them.” “Someone who excels in math and science.... Someone who is motivated, dedicated, and who doesn’t mind sitting in a cubicle all day.” What Do High School Girls Think?

8 Enjoyable “How happy I will be—what’s the point of doing anything you don’t like?” Good working environment “If I can’t interact with people…I will probably drop the job.” To make a difference “That I would make a difference in some way, you know, make my mark on the world.” Income “As shallow as it sounds, money is the one thing I have to consider when I’m choosing a job. I’m not going to do something that I know can’t help me pay bills.” Flexibility “My career can’t consume all of my time…I need free time to do a lot of other things…before I die.” What High School Girls Want

9 Engineering is stressful and challenging Stress the importance of SUPERIOR math and science abilities “It’s not easy—but if you’re the type who when faced with a problem some would call impossible is even more driven to move mountains to find a solution, then you might have it in you to be an engineer.” What Engineers Tell Young People

10 The current messages that emphasize “the necessity of superior math and science skills” and the notion of “a challenging and stressful career” are not relevant to high school girls. Disconnect

11 What Engineers Like about their Careers “I feel pretty lucky to have such a creative and interesting job. I’m surrounded by brilliant people. It doesn’t seem like work. It’s just plain fun!” - Judy Lee “I enjoy the travel and interacting with an amazing array of people.” - Daniele Lantagne “It’s never boring. I feel that I can make a difference in society by working on new technologies to improve people’s lives.” - Mona Masghati “Engineering is such a versatile field. It is practical, applicable, and always in demand.” - Molly Lebowitz

12 Compelling Engineering Messages Appeal to Girls Boys Live your life, love what you do82% 81% Creativity has its rewards74% 81% Make a world of difference72% 79% Create possibilities71% 77%

13 Meet an Engineer

14 Audience High school girls Parents, counselors, & engineers The site will help you Understand the various fields of engineering Learn what an engineer does Find out why engineering is a great career Advise your kids about engineering









23 Resources for Advising Students Engineer Your Life Brochure Engineer Your Life Poster Take Engineering for a Test Drive Recommended High School Coursework Researching Engineering Schools Scholarships and Financial Aid

24 Help Spread the Word Tell girls, parents, counselors and other teachers about Web site Use the EYL resources when advising students Distribute brochures, posters, postcards Visit the EYL table at NACAC college fairs

25 Special Thanks to: Additional funding provided by: Stephen D. Bechtel, Jr. United Engineering Foundation (ASCE, ASME, AIChE, IEEE, AIME) Major funding for Engineer Your Life provide by: The National Science Foundation Northrop Grumman Foundation

26 Thanks for coming! Keep in touch: Natalie Hebshie WGBH Educational Outreach To order brochures, posters, and postcards, e-mail: Ceit Zweil Outreach Coordinator for Engineer Your Life

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