On Saturday, October 17, 110 young girls and families in our community joined us on campus to get excited about engineering at the popular Ontario-wide event, Go ENG Girl.
Hosted by the Ontario Network of Women in Engineering (ONWiE), the Go ENG Girl initiative partners with universities across the province to provide opportunities for girls in grades 7 to 10 and one parent or guardian to visit their local campus and learn from female professionals, academics, and students about the world of engineering. While the girls enjoy fun, hands-on activities and student-run exhibitions, parents and guardians are treated to an informative session on the various paths one can take in a career in engineering.
“What sets Go ENG Girl apart, is that it’s designed for both the girls and their families. We know that parents and other guardians have a huge influence on a young person’s post-secondary education and career choices. This event allows members of our community to become more informed about engineering as a preferred career option for themselves and for their children.”
- Claire Heymans, Go ENG Girl Program Coordinator
The girls had opportunities to listen to a keynote address by current UWaterloo student, Hannah Gautreau, and engage in different stations, one of which was built around being in the position of electrical engineer. Presented with a make-believe town that had just experienced a blackout, working together, the group of girls had to decide and prioritize which buildings would receive power first. Forming a circle to represent an electrical circuit, they were taught how electricity travels and were empowered to make tough decisions that affect people on an everyday basis.
While the number of female undergraduates studying engineering has increased in recent years, women are still vastly underrepresented in this field. By collaborating with ONWiE, the University of Waterloo’s Engineering Outreach department is helping to dispel stereotypes, encouraging young girls in our regional community to explore engineering with innovative activities and real-life examples of women who are excelling as professional engineers.