Dear Guidance Counsellor / Student Support,
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 interesting for 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.
What I have learned through my experience with the Youth Think Tank is that many students have very limited perception of what engineering is and what engineers are capable of doing. I have done interviews with some friends from our school and I was surprised to find how they did not know the extent of creativity and imagination that engineering actually requires.
What I have come to believe is that the cause of the inaccurate perception of what engineering is, is the lack of similarity and connection of the classroom material and the actual possibilities of a career in engineering. The students have very little information about how the subjects studied in class can actually contribute to a career.
As you are a member of the student support and outreach, I believe that you can think of possible events that can showcase what engineering really is. I personally learned a lot about engineering through talking to professional engineers, many of whom are eager to volunteer and talk to young kids and teenagers about engineering and its capacities.
To learn more about these individuals and their work, I suggest you take a quick look around our website, WEMADEIT.ca.
WEMADEIT Youth Think Tank Member