WATERLOO, Ont. (Thursday, Sept. 22, 2011) - More than 100 young women interested in what a future in engineering could hold for them will make their way to the University of Waterloo next week for the seventh annual Go Eng Girl! event.

The girls, in Grades 7 to 10, will have a chance to discover firsthand what engineering is all about at the all-day event, which will take place Saturday, Oct. 1.

Waterloo's event is part of a provincial initiative to ignite interest in engineering at a time when young girls are thinking about their future careers and are choosing the courses that will prepare them for further education. On the same day, 12 other universities across Ontario will be alive with Go Eng Girl! activities for as many as 1,000 girls.

"This event is meant to expose these talented and smart girls and their parents to the range of careers that an education in engineering can provide for them," said Mary Wells, chair of Waterloo's Go Eng Girl!, and associate dean of engineering outreach. "Parents are always surprised at the importance of encouraging their daughters to continue to study mathematics and sciences in high school to ensure they keep their options open for university."

The girls and their parents will have their own programming for the day, with the girls participating in age-appropriate group activities where they’ll solve fun - but complex - engineering tasks.

Reflecting a theme of sustainability - a major emphasis in today's engineering profession - girls in Grades 7 and 8 will design, build and test a functioning water-filtration system. At the same time, Grade 9 and 10 girls will create a rainwater catchment system, balancing factors such as efficiency, costs and environmental impacts.

After the designs are complete, attendees will be able to meet with student groups and staff from Waterloo's admissions and co-operative-education departments.

The event begins at 9 a.m. with registration in the J.R. Coutts Engineering Lecture Hall, followed by welcoming remarks from Adel Sedra, dean of engineering, and Wells.

After an inspirational talk by Amanda LeDuc, a current Waterloo engineering student, parents and the girls divide into their specific programming: the girls taking part in their activities and the parents hearing from Catherine Hay, a recent alumnus, and a panel featuring parents of current students. Later, a panel of current women students will share their engineering experiences.

Participants must have pre-registered. More information can be found at engineering.uwaterloo.ca/go-eng-girl.

About Waterloo

The University of Waterloo, located at the heart of Canada's Technology Triangle, is one of Canada's leading comprehensive universities. Waterloo is home to 30,000 full- and part-time undergraduate and graduate students who are dedicated to making the future better and brighter. Waterloo, known for the largest post- secondary co-operative education program in the world, supports enterprising partnerships in learning, research and discovery. For more information about Waterloo, visit www.uwaterloo.ca.

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