U of G Hosts Engineering Event for Girls

October 10, 2008 - News Release

The University of Guelph is one of 15 Ontario universities hosting Go ENG Girl, a free one-day event for girls in grades 7 to 10 and their parents that showcases career opportunities in engineering.

The event runs Oct. 18 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. in the Thornbrough Building and gives girls and their parents the opportunity to hear inspirational success stories from females studying and working in the engineering field.

An initiative of the Ontario Network of Women in Engineering and supported by the Council of Ontario Deans of Engineering, the program aims to enhance young women's interest in engineering and encourage enrolment in engineering programs at the post-secondary level.

Currently women represent less than 20 per cent of first-year engineering students in Ontario.

"'Go ENG Girl is a unique opportunity because it connects girls with women who are already succeeding in the world of engineering and enables these girls to receive a ton of insight into the many fantastic opportunities that are out there as well as any struggles they might face along the way," said Bethany Deyell, youth outreach co-ordinator with the Chair for Women in Science and Engineering. "Since there is still a significant gender imbalance in this field, events like Go ENG Girl are essential."

One of the guest speakers is Jana Hamilton, a professional environmental engineer working as a water resources specialist at AquaResource Inc. Hamilton studied water resources engineering at U of G and was also heavily involved in Engineers Without Borders while on campus.

Graduate student Micha Wallace will also be speaking. Wallace completed the biological engineering undergraduate program at U of G and is currently in her second year of a master's in applied science. She was part of a team of engineers who developed a single-handed bike brake lever that recently won national and international design awards.

In addition to listening to guest speakers, the girls will be tackling hands-on projects aimed at helping them develop their skills in engineering design.

For parents, an information session will explain how they can support their daughters on the road to a career in engineering.

A panel of speakers consisting of engineering faculty and graduate and undergraduate students will discuss and answer questions on topics such as entrance requirements, academic support, campus life and career expectations.

There will also be displays showcasing the innovative engineering-related research and clubs at U of G.

The day will also include a free lunch where students, faculty and staff will be available to talk to participants.

"Our main objective is to get girls excited about the possibilities that exist for them and to help them see they can do engineering," said Deyell. "We hope to expose young women to a perspective they might not have considered before, showing engineering as a caring profession that involves people, social responsibility and the design of products that are really relevant to their daily lives."

Participants must register online. For more information about the U of G event.

For media questions, contact Communications and Public Affairs: Lori Bona Hunt, 519-824-4120, Ext. 53338/l.hunt@exec.uoguelph.ca, or Deirdre Healey, Ext. 56982/d.healey@exec.uoguelph.ca.

University of Guelph
50 Stone Road East
Guelph, Ontario, N1G 2W1