Introduce a Girl to Engineering Day Brings Hundreds of Eighth Graders to NDSU
They did activities like designing a heart valve replacement simulation
FARGO, N.D. — Hundreds of eighth grade girls visited NDSU and area companies as part of Introduce a Girl to Engineering Day.
The day is part of a nationwide effort to inspire young women to pursue careers in STEM.
“Less than 15 percent to engineers are women. So, we really want to show these girls that there’s a place for them in engineering and diversity in teams is so important. You can really add a lot to a team by bringing your feminine skills, too,” Lauren Singelmann, engineering outreach coordinator at NDSU, said.
The girls are using biomedical engineering skills to design a heart valve replacement simulation.
“I just thought it was cool we’re doing something that’s in the medical field because that’s what I want to go into. Being able to try to figure something out using less cost and being super effective is like really cool,” Zaylea Brunette, an eighth grader at Cheney Middle School, said.
Students are also hearing from female engineers in the community and had the opportunity to ask them questions.
“Women are needed in these positions and you can be a great engineer as a girl too,” Singelmann said.
Organizers say getting girls involved in middle school can inspire them to take more engineering classes in high school.
“I think it’s really cool we have the opportunity to do stuff like this starting young because we’re only 8th grade. Even though we have five more years left of school before we go to college and know what we have to do, it’s cool to explore the opportunities,” Brunette said.
It’s also a way to explore the field before diving in.
“My dad graduated in civil engineering and he really likes the field but I know there’s a lot of math but I’m not sure so maybe,” eighth grader Honor B said.
“If you’re interested in something, make sure you try to explore it to see if you like it because if you don’t like it you can always try something else. But just having the opportunity to do something like this is really cool,” Brunette said.
According to the Society of Women Engineers, only about 20 percent of bachelor’s degrees in engineering are earned by females.