BALTIMORE--(EON: Enhanced Online News)--More than 350 middle-school girls became engineers for the day during the Society of Women Engineers’ (SWE) Invent It. Build It. event, a hands-on program that provides girls with unique opportunities to learn about the engineering profession. Aspiring adolescent engineers gathered Saturday, alongside female professional engineers, at the Baltimore Convention Center to participate in interactive activities that included creating spacecraft models with shock-absorbing systems and building electric dance pads.
“Engineering provides an avenue to use one’s talent, ingenuity and problem-solving skills to give back and impact lives whether it’s through the creation of an efficient, low-cost water filter that provides clean water to third-world countries or the next iPhone.”
In partnership with the ExxonMobil Foundation, Girl Scouts of Central Maryland and WGBH-TV’s “Design Squad Nation,” Invent It. Build It. highlights the positive impact engineers have on society in order to capture girls’ interest in pursuing the engineering profession.
In 2012, the U.S. Congress Joint Economic Committee reported a labor-force shortage of skilled workers in science and technology fields and that the demand for workers in science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) fields is projected to continue rising in the future. The committee also emphasized the increasing need for more women to develop STEM skills and pursue careers in related fields, especially in engineering where only 14 percent of engineers are women.
“SWE is committed to reaching girls who have an interest in math and science and showing them the diverse and rewarding opportunities an engineering career can offer them,” said Stacey Delvecchio, president of the Society of Women Engineers. “Engineering provides an avenue to use one’s talent, ingenuity and problem-solving skills to give back and impact lives whether it’s through the creation of an efficient, low-cost water filter that provides clean water to third-world countries or the next iPhone.”
The activities, coordinated by representatives of the Emmy-winning television series “Design Squad Nation,” are designed to strengthen students’ critical-thinking skills while also demonstrating the fun, hands-on applications of math and science.
“We are encouraging girls to pursue engineering by engaging them in the creativity and innovation at the core of the discipline,” said Suzanne McCarron, president of the ExxonMobil Foundation. “Programs like Invent It. Build It. allow girls to see themselves in the profession and realize that, if they choose to become engineers, they will help solve the challenges of the 21st century.”
Parents and educators participated in special sessions designed to increase awareness and provide tools to help motivate students to pursue math- and science-related careers.
Invent It. Build It. marked the culmination of SWE’s annual conference in Baltimore, which featured an industry-focused career fair, workshops and panel discussions. Similar Invent It. Build It. events have been held in Orlando (2010), Chicago (2011) and Houston (2012).
About The Society of Women Engineers
The Society of Women Engineers (SWE), founded in 1950, is a not-for-profit educational and service organization. SWE is the driving force that establishes engineering as a highly desirable career aspiration for women. SWE empowers women to succeed and advance in those aspirations and receive the recognition and credit for their life-changing contributions and achievements as engineers and leaders. For more information about the Society please visit www.swe.org or call (312) 596-5223.
About the ExxonMobil Foundation
The ExxonMobil Foundation is the primary philanthropic arm of Exxon Mobil Corporation in the United States. The foundation and the corporation engage in a range of philanthropic activities that advance education, health and science in the communities where ExxonMobil has significant operations. In the United States, ExxonMobil supports initiatives to improve math and science education at the K-12 and higher education levels. In 2012, together with its employees and retirees, Exxon Mobil Corporation (NYSE:XOM), its divisions and affiliates, and the ExxonMobil Foundation provided $256 million in contributions worldwide, of which $116 million was dedicated to education. www.exxonmobil.com/community