Girl Scout Engineering Program HonoredThe Clark School's Women in Engineering program, Girl Scout Engineering Saturday, has been recognized for significant contributions to the "Introduce a Girl to Engineering Day" initiative. The program, directed by Paige Smith, Women in Engineering program director, was honored with the 2008 National Engineers Week "Girl Day" Award.
The Women in Engineering Proactive Network (WEPAN) and "Introduce a Girl to Engineering Day," a program of National Engineers Week, work together to recognize major contributions of WEPAN Institutional Members to the "Introduce a Girl to Engineering Day."
"Girl Day" as it is commonly known, is a national program aimed at encouraging young girls in their pursuit of science, math and engineering. The award was presented earlier this summer at the WEPAN National Conference in St. Louis, Mo.
For years the engineering community has recognized the need to bring more women into its ranks. Currently, only one out of ten engineers in America is a woman. Engineers Week launched "Introduce a Girl to Engineering Day" in 2001 – assisted by WEPAN and other diversity organizations – to provide girls and young women with a firsthand experience in the engineering arena. An estimated one million girls have been involved annually in what is considered to be the first outreach program targeting girls ever established by a single profession.
The Women in Engineering Program has a variety of pre-college outreach programs, and Girl Scout Engineering Saturday (GSES) is tied to "Introduce a Girl to Engineering Day" and Engineers Week. GSES reaches out to an audience that may not self-identify with STEM. Additionally, the participating undergraduates who develop and implement GSES activities improve their leadership and communication skills while serving as role models. Role models are critical to engaging pre-college interest in engineering. Since GSES began in February 2003, it has doubled in size.
Published July 30, 2008