UA Women Engineers to Host Event for Middle School Girls

  • September 30th, 2016
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A UA student works with youth during an earlier WoW! event.

TUSCALOOSA, Ala. — The University of Alabama section of the Society of Women Engineers, or SWE, will host about 200 middle-school girls at the 2016 “Wow! That’s Engineering” event Oct. 8.

This year’s event is themed around space exploration and its effects on daily life. Titled “Across the Galax-SWE,” girls will participate in activities designed to develop students’ confidence in academic subjects and introduce them to engineering design concepts.

Activities will begin with registration at 9 a.m. in H.M. Comer Hall and include rocket bottles, circuits, comet, emergency shelter, Mars rover and a shake table. The event concludes at 3:30 p.m.

Along with hands-on activities, students can talk with women studying or practicing engineering and learn about career opportunities in engineering.

“Middle school is the time when students begin choosing the path that they will take through high school, and studies done with girls and engineering show that if you wait until high school, many of the girls have already opted out of the track that they would need to prepare for engineering – heavy math and science,” said Dr. Beth Todd, associate professor of mechanical engineering and adviser to UA SWE.

The event is open to girls in the fifth through eighth grades, along with their parents and teachers. The adults are invited to participate in a separate parent/educator program.

This event was made possible by a Program Development Grant with the Society of Women Engineers through a generous donation from the ExxonMobil Foundation.

The University of Alabama, the state’s oldest and largest public institution of higher education, is a student-centered research university that draws the best and brightest to an academic community committed to providing a premier undergraduate and graduate education. UA is dedicated to achieving excellence in scholarship, collaboration and intellectual engagement; providing public outreach and service to the state of Alabama and the nation; and nurturing a campus environment that fosters collegiality, respect and inclusivity.