Over the last 2 months I’ve been part of a Youth Think Tank to investigate why less than 20% of engineering students are female, and to create a website that talks about engineering in way that’s actually appealing to teenagers. Because of my experience, I have a few insights I’d like to share with you about how to communicate with high school girls, how to talk with us about our futures and decision making, about our attitudes towards STEM, and how gender issues affect all of this. Check out our website wemadeit.ca for more interesting things about engineering and how you can pursue it.
Despite the strive for equality, the first person that comes to mind when thinking of an engineer is a guy in a hard hat, which in reality is only small part of engineering. Engineering is a vast and flexible field that spans pharmaceutical production (making medicine) to building skyscrapers to designing smart phones. Pretty much anything that makes your life easier was made or improved by an engineer.
Isn’t engineering is all about math and science, you might ask. The answer is, not really. Yes, math and science are important to engineering, but engineering also involves problem solving, creativity, curiosity, design and communication. It’s about seeing the world problems and wanting to do something to solve them, whether it is climate change, conserving the environment or improving healthcare. Best of all, engineers are really flexible in their abilities and have a unique perspective and way of thinking. That is why there are engineers working in banks, graphics design, schools and other places you wouldn’t associate with engineering.
Engineering is a wonderful post-secondary path that leads to countless opportunities. Definitely consider studying it!
WEMADEIT – Youth Think Tanker
P.S. Go Engineering!
We asked our Youth Think Tank to write letters describing their thoughts around Engineering to the people who matter in their world. Listen up WEMADEIT community!