On Saturday October 15, over 150 young girls from the Ottawa-Gatineau region participated in a special event at the University of Ottawa Faculty of Engineering.
The “Go Eng Girl” event—which is sponsored by the Ontario Network of Women in Engineering (ONWiE)—was created to help girls from grades 7 to 10 discover the wonders and merits of the world of engineering. This annual event has been held simultaneously at several universities throughout Ontario and Canada for the past 12 years.
During the event, the girls participated in multiple activities, such as a challenge to build an earthquake-proof structure, a 3D design workshop and an activity on wearable technology. Visits to the engineering labs were also on the agenda where the girls learned about tests and experiments that they might someday carry out during their university studies should they choose this field.
At the end of the day, the girls and their parents had the chance to meet some professional women in engineering who spoke to them about their work and what they love about engineering. A professor and a student from the Faculty also offered them some insight into their career path. The girls were able to ask questions about the profession and study programs. Both the girls and their parents gave very positive feedback. “I had a lot of fun and I learned a lot too”, said one participant.
“Activities like these are very important”, explained Julie Olivier, the event organizer and Outreach Program Officer at the Faculty of Engineering. “The number of women in engineering is still well below the number of men, with women representing only 13% of engineers in Canada. Our goal is to boost those numbers up to 30% by 2030. By showing all the possibilities that the world of engineering has to offer young girls and by having them participate in stimulating, hands-on activities, we are confident that the number of female engineers will rise. Women have an important role to play in this discipline!”