On October 17, over 130 girls aged 13-16 took part in a very special day at the University of Ottawa: “Go Eng Girl!” This day-long event introduces girls in grades 7-10 to the world of engineering, and is sponsored by the Ontario Network of Women in Engineering (ONWiE). It was held in 15 campuses across Ontario this October.
Throughout the day, the girls participated in workshops related to mechanical, computer, chemical and civil engineering, learning about these different fields. They were engaged in many interesting challenges, such as building a small boat which could support the most amount of weight, or building a miniature drawbridge that uses a simple hydraulic system. They also learned basic programming, performed a chemical experiment, and visited several uOttawa engineering labs.
At the end of the day, the participants and their parents were invited to a presentation given by professors of the Faculty of Engineering, leading women in industry, and engineering students. The girls asked questions about the engineering profession and about the programs offered at the Faculty of Engineering.
One of the participants said to us that she had really enjoyed the activities: “it was great to learn and have fun at the same time.” She also added that “before, I didn’t want to be an engineer, but now I’m much more interested!”
According to Julie Olivier, Youth Program Coordinator at the Faculty of Engineering, not many girls were aware of the role or tasks of an engineer at the start of the day. However, by the end, they had a much clearer understanding of the profession. “The activities really sparked the girls’ interest, and it was great to see their creativity come out as they solved the problems before them.”
To learn more about the Adventures in Engineering and Science program, or our workshops and summer camps, please visit our website.