CSM en­cour­ages stu­dents to ‘En­gi­neer Like a Girl’

Camp’s mes­sage: Science, math aren’t just for boys

Maryland Independent - - Front Page -

What can be done to get more young women to con­sider ca­reers in the en­gi­neer­ing field? Shadei Jones, from the Col­lege of South­ern Mary­land, be­lieves there needs to be more pro­grams avail­able to mid­dle and high school stu­dents to make them aware of and fa­mil­iar­ize them with the oc­cu­pa­tions that are avail­able in the field, she said in a re­lease.

Jones, the col­lege’s pre-en­gi­neer­ing co­or­di­na­tor, for a sec­ond year brought to­gether some very bright and mo­ti­vated young women to in­tro­duce them to a wide range of en­gi­neer­ing dis­ci­plines. “En­gi­neer Like a Girl,” a week-long day camp at CSM’s Leonard­town Cam­pus, aimed to show the girls who at­tended the types of jobs what en­gi­neers do and to ob­serve some en­gi­neers at work. The camp’s ac­tiv­i­ties also were de­signed to stomp out neg­a­tive stereo­types com­monly as­so­ci­ated with women’s ap­ti­tude to pur­sue ca­reers in fields re­lated to science, tech­nol­ogy, en­gi­neer­ing and math (STEM).

“Women have the tal­ent and the abil­ity. It’s time to send a mes­sage that science and math aren’t just for boys,” Jones said in the re­lease.

One of the girls at­tend­ing the camp agreed.

“It is im­por­tant for our so­ci­ety to have women en­gi­neers be­cause this field is cur­rently lack­ing women’s in­tel­li­gence, cre­ativ­ity and val­ues in solv­ing to­day’s prob­lems,” El­iz­a­beth Tross­bach, who is en­ter­ing the ninth grade at St. Mary’s Ryken High School, said in the re­lease. “By en­cour­ag­ing more women to­ward en­gi­neer­ing ca­reers, our coun­try will be­come much stronger by dou­bling the num­ber of tech­ni­cal peo­ple work­ing to make a bet­ter world.”

Women make up close to 20 per­cent of the en­gi­neers na­tion­wide. Ac­cord­ing to the Na­tional Science Foun­da­tion, only 7.9 per­cent of me­chan­i­cal en­gi­neers are women and 10.7 per­cent of elec­tri­cal or com­puter hard­ware en­gi­neers are women.

“Those low sta­tis­tics are ex­actly why we have this pro­gram and why our pro­gram is so im­por­tant,” said Jones, who has a de­gree in man­u­fac­tur­ing en­gi­neer­ing. “There is a short­age of fe­male en­gi­neers so hope­fully this will help get some ex­po­sure to young ladies so they will con­sider en­gi­neer­ing as a ca­reer choice.”

The nine girls who at­tended this year’s camp par­tic­i­pated in work­shops and hands-on ac­tiv­i­ties such as mak­ing a ro­botic arm and build­ing a cell­phone de­tec­tor. Each camper also kept a jour­nal and shared their thoughts at the end of each day’s ac­tiv­i­ties. The camp at­ten­dees heard from civil en­gi­neer Jacqueline Bow­man; Jehnae Link­ins, a bio­med­i­cal en­gi­neer­ing doc­tor­ate can­di­date at the Univer­sity of Delaware; mo­ti­va­tional speaker An­toinette Jack­son of Heart of Ap­pre­ci­a­tion; and Patux­ent River Naval Air Sta­tion en­gi­neer Bob­bie Diedrich.

Jehnell Link­ins, a CSM ca­reer and aca­demic ad­viser, talked about plan­ning for col­lege and en­gi­neer­ing ca­reers and ma­jors.

David John Bar­rett, di­rec­tor of en­gi­neer­ing ed­u­ca­tion and re­search part­ner­ships at Naval Air War­fare Cen­ter Air­craft Divi­sion (NAWCAD), talked to the girls about the South­ern Mary­land Path­ways Pro­gram in En­gi­neer­ing, a part­ner­ship be­tween CSM, the Univer­sity of Mary­land (UMD) A. James Clark School of En­gi­neer­ing, the U.S. Navy and the South­ern Mary­land Higher Ed­u­ca­tion Cen­ter. Upon com­plet­ing the en­gi­neer­ing cur­ricu­lum at CSM, stu­dents may trans­fer with ju­nior sta­tus to earn a me­chan­i­cal en­gi­neer­ing de­gree at UMD. Stu­dents also have the op­por­tu­nity to do an in­tern­ship with NAWCAD, a divi­sion of the Naval Air Sys­tems Com­mand at Pax River, with a pos­si­ble em­ploy­ment op­por­tu­nity af­ter they suc­cess­fully grad­u­ate and com­plete all of the pro­gram re­quire­ments.

A day-long visit to Pax River NAS was in­cluded in the camp’s pro­gram. Jones said the field trip to the naval base was one of the high­lights of the camp be­cause the girls got to ob­serve the en­gi­neers at work.

“They got to do some hands-on projects and see some re­ally cool things,” she said.

Best of all, they saw a for­mer CSM stu­dent who had gone through the Path­ways pro­gram, con­duct a demon­stra­tion in one of the en­gi­neer­ing labs on base, Jones said.

“The camp is so re­ward­ing, es­pe­cially see­ing the girls get in­ter­ested and ex­cited about the projects, to see the ‘light go on,’” Jones said. “They en­joy be­ing around other girls who are in­ter­ested in the same things they are. Some­times in school they might be one of two or three girls in their classes or Ad­vanced Place­ment cour­ses. I like giv­ing these young ladies the op­por­tu­nity to do some­thing dur­ing the sum­mer with other stu­dents who are like them.”

Jamie DeWaters, an in­com­ing ju­nior at Patux­ent High School in Lusby, said the rea­son she at­tended the en­gi­neer­ing camp was be­cause she wanted to be around peo­ple her age who share her love for math and en­gi­neer­ing.

“I also think the camp will ex­pand my knowl­edge of var­i­ous STEM ca­reers and help me fig­ure out what I want to do. … Math is just fun to me. It’s some­thing I en­joy, and I’m pretty good at it, too,” DeWaters said.

The camp al­lows the girls to ex­pe­ri­ence what they like to do.

“They are good at math, or they’re good at build­ing, or they like work­ing with com­put­ers. It’s en­gi­neer­ing, it’s not a dirty word,” Jones said. “It’s re­ally about the ex­po­sure they get to what the en­gi­neer­ing field is all about.”

Ma’Lani Wilson, who will be a se­nior at Thomas Stone High School in Wal­dorf, said she wanted to at­tend the camp be­cause she en­joys math and science. She said she has been think­ing about ma­jor­ing in com­puter science for a while.

“And then I have been hear­ing a lot about en­gi­neer­ing. I think it’s a field that I would en­joy and want to learn more about it,” Wilson said. “There are a num­ber of rea­sons why it’s im­por­tant to have women en­gi­neers. One rea­son is women’s thoughts are needed to be in­cluded in de­ci­sion mak­ing and not just men. An­other rea­son is that it seems that men are the ma­jor­ity in this field, and women need to join to make a dif­fer­ence.”

The camp, which the stu­dents at­tend at no charge, is spon­sored by the CSM Foun­da­tion and South­ern Mary­land Chain Chap­ter, The Links, Inc. To view pho­tographs from the camp, go to http://c sm photo. zen fo­lio. com/16en­gi­neer­girls.

To learn more about the South­ern Mary­land Path­ways Pro­gram in En­gi­neer­ing, go to http://stem.csmd. e du/ events_ in­tern­ship. html. For more in­for­ma­tion re­gard­ing ad­mis­sion or trans­fer in the Path­ways pro­gram, con­tact Jones at 301-934-7747 or sjones3@ csmd.edu.

David John Bar­rett of the South­ern Mary­land Path­ways Pro­gram in En­gi­neer­ing, cen­ter, talks with the young women at­tend­ing “En­gi­neer Like a Girl” camp at CSM’s Leonard­town Cam­pus. Clock­wise from Bar­rett, right, are El­iz­a­beth Tross­bach, Isabella Cor­radi, Vic­to­ria De Je­sus, Gabrielle Moore, Keiana Gray, Jamie DeWaters, Ma’Lani Wilson, Sierra Fowler and Ri­ley Hines. SUB­MIT­TED PHO­TOS

“En­gi­neer Like a Girl” hosted nine young women for a week-long sum­mer camp at the Col­lege of South­ern Mary­land Leonard­town Cam­pus. In the bot­tom row, front left, are Gabrielle Moore, Jamie DeWaters, Vic­to­ria De Je­sus, Isabella Cor­radi, El­iz­a­beth Tross­bach and Ri­ley Hines. Stand­ing from left to right are Sierra Fowler, Ma’Lani Wilson, mo­ti­va­tional speaker An­toinette Jack­son of Heart of Ap­pre­ci­a­tion, CSM’s Pre-En­gi­neer­ing Co­or­di­na­tor Shadei Jones and Keiana Gray.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from USA

© PressReader. All rights reserved.