Women inspire girls to pursue their dreams
Nearly 186 girl scouts gathered at Colorado School of Mines to embark on an educational journey into the world of science during “Girl Scout Engineering Day” on Oct. 5.
For 20 years, Girl Scouts of Colorado in collaboration with the Society of Women Engineers (SWE), a nonprofit educational collegiate organization, have strived to expose girls of all ages to the awesome power of math and science. Their intent is to inspire at least a few young minds to consider the field of engineering as a career choice by allowing them to do experiments and work hands-on with basic math and engineering concepts.
“More than anything I think it’s important for them to know that they are capable of doing something more than the traditional careers that women normally do,” Tori Billings, SWE section president for CSM said. “A lot of it is just to encourage them to pursue their dreams.”
Confidence is needed for young girls and women interested in pursuing a career in STEM related fields, and according to the Girl Scout Research Institute, teen girls are not blind to gender barriers, with 57 percent of girls agreeing they would “have to work harder than a man to be taken seriously,” in STEM careers.
Further, 60 percent of girls interested in science and math said they know more about other careers than they do about math and science careers.
Nine activities were set up to touch on various aspects of STEM including civil engineering, bio chemistry, and electrical engineering. “Glow Stick Fun” explored bioluminescence, chemical reactions and energy, and “Water Cleanup” taught girls how to filter dirty water into clean water.
“It’s really fun because we’re learning about other jobs that we can get when we grow up and we’re experimenting with a ton of things,” Mia Jordan, 9 said. “My favorite subjects are math and science,” she said.
Present at the event was a SWE volunteer who was once a girl scout, and who once attended the same event she now participates in.
“I joined SWE because of this event, it’s what got me into this school in the first place,” Alyssa Rozendaal, freshman at Mines said. “I was a Girl Scout for 13 years and now I am a lifetime member because it was so important to me, it taught me how to be an independent girl and it made me feel like I didn’t have to be afraid to be smart or into math and science.”