WEMADEIT.ca in the Toronto Star

We got a wonderful write-up in the Toronto Star!

Isobel D’Iorio knows her electrons from her neutrons.

The 15-year-old science whiz at Humberside Collegiate Institute thinks nothing of conjuring up imagery to explain how chemistry works.

“My friend, a music student, was having trouble understanding how electrons work. I explained it to her comparing electrons to notes on a piano. I think she got it.”

It’s not surprising D’Iorio is considering pursuing a career in engineering or science. But she’s got a problem: no one is taking her seriously, and she wants to know why. “Any time I talk to an adult, or friend, and say I might like to take science or math or anything in that field as a career I’m given a ‘ya right.’ I think there’s a stigma towards girls in the field, maybe people think it’s too much work for a girl.”

Ryerson’s Youth Think Tank is investigating why girls aren’t getting into engineering
The Toronto Star – Thursday May 4, 2014

Ryerson’s New Feats of Engineering Program to Address Gender Gap in Engineering, Encourage Female Enrolment

New program partners female high school students with local companies, engineers

This May and June, Ryerson University’s new Feats of Engineering program will help female high school students from across the GTA experience real world engineering first hand from partners such as Bombardier, EllisDon and Google.

The new program provides girls with exclusive, once-in-a-lifetime opportunities to go behind the scenes of today’s leading engineering companies. Participants will get to meet engineers, tour the facilities and be a part of the projects that are making our world a safer, better place to live.

“At Ryerson we are focused on offering many different forms of outreach, support and networking opportunities to increase the number of women in engineering,” says Kyla Sask, Engineering Enrichment and Outreach Coordinator in the Faculty of Engineering and Architectural Science at Ryerson University. “The Feats of Engineering will not only provide first-hand experience into some of the most exciting engineering work in the GTA, they also offer an exceptional opportunity for young girls to interact with a female engineering role model.”

Feats of Engineering was created as part of an unprecedented collaboration with university engineering faculties at Ryerson, Western University, University of Waterloo and UOIT. The collaboration is supported by a four-year grant of $1.4 million from Hydro One. Motorola Solutions Foundation has also supported the initiative with over $65,000 in grant funding. Together, these partners are implementing coordinated strategies to improve enrolment and career opportunities for women and young girls in engineering.

Another initiative made possible with the support of HydroOne and Motorola Solutions Foundation is a ‘WEMADEIT’ Youth Think Tank. As part of the think tank, teenage girls from GTA high schools are exploring why female awareness and enrollment in engineering is so low in comparison to male counterparts.

On average, the gender breakdown of student enrollment in undergraduate engineering programs in Canada is approximately 20% female; the gender gap is even wider in engineering industries. In both cases, the gap is persistent, with little change over the last 10 years. Girls participating in the Youth Think Tank are helping to design the brand for the new initiative as well as weighing in on how Ryerson should re-design their summer programs to reach more young girls.

Feats of Engineering participating companies include:

Hydro One
Motorola Solutions
Canadian Tire
City of Toronto
City of Mississauga
Ellis Don
GE Canada
Learn more about Ryerson’s commitment to girls in engineering at: http://www.ryerson.ca/feas/programs/wie/

Ryerson’s New Feats of Engineering Program to Address Gender Gap in Engineering, Encourage Female Enrolment