Girls Are For Engineers – News Update
Washington, DC (December 12, 2014) – Sylvia asked me “how can you be so excited about this project?” I started to tell her about how there were a lot of engineering projects that interest me, but this project tickled my fancy. As I continued to describe it, Sylvia didn’t answer, but showed me how important it was for children to get excited about learning about engineering. We made lunch and eventually even danced around the kitchen in front of our play house.
Sylvia is an incoming first-grader at Bella Vista Elementary. She loves science and likes to use engineering projects to explain them to her friends and do work for her parents. Sylvia said that she likes to build her own house and that she is able to understand better what engineers do because she likes to use engineering projects. “I can build things with glue, string, and my fingers,” Sylvia said.
Sylvia is a smart girl who loves to learn and wants to work in engineering. We developed the quote above with her because my goal for Sylvia is that one day, even if Sylvia chooses another career path, we will all be proud that she has shown such interest in engineering. To help foster this interest, I’m working with Purdue’s engineering and math departments on projects that are related to STEM education. This support can help us create curriculum based on coding, numerical codes, origami, robots, building structures, web design, and physics. At the end of the year, we will be sharing the projects and engaging with students on their love of science.
Purdue’s engineers are leaders in the field of sustainability and future technologies. Their contributions are helping us prepare for a better future for our children, now and in the future. I could not be more proud of Sylvia for having the opportunities to be involved in some of these great projects. I hope that as our experiences continue and evolve, Sylvia can look back and remember how it felt to be an engineering interested girl growing up.
Sarah Steele is a senior studying mechanical engineering at Purdue University. She is the president of PurdueEMS, Purdue’s extracurricular nursing, nursing student support network. She also served as co-director of PurdueEMS’s awards committee for the past two years.