Oct. 17 Event Aims to Educate Girls About Engineering

October 09, 2009 - News Release

The University of Guelph is hosting Go ENG Girl Oct. 17, a free one-day event for girls in grades 7 to 10 and their parents to learn about programs and careers in engineering.

It runs from 9:30 a.m. to 2 p.m. in the Science Complex. The day will also include a free lunch where students, faculty and staff will be available to talk to participants.

U of G is one of 15 Ontario universities hosting Go ENG Girl events. In total, about 1,000 girls are expected to participate, along with some 350 volunteers and 500 parents and teachers.

“Go ENG Girl is a fun opportunity for girls to meet others who share their interests and to find out first-hand how these amazing careers are making a difference to our environment and quality of life,” said engineering professor Val Davidson, chair of Go ENG Girl.

Participants must register online, where more information is also available.

The day includes the girls meeting women who are studying or working in engineering and hearing about their careers and experiences. A panel discussion for parents will focus on how they can support their daughters on the road to a career in engineering. Hands-on activities for the girls will help them develop their skills in engineering design.

There will also be interactive exhibits by Engineers Without Borders, the Ontario Society of Professional Engineers and Women in Science and Engineering. In addition, information about scholarships, program options and admission requirements will be available.

This is the fifth year that Go ENG Girl has been held, and more than 3,000 girls have attended over the years. Davidson said feedback from parents and teachers indicates the event is inspiring girls to consider engineering as a program of study or a career.

The initiative was created in response to the falling participation rate of young women in engineering programs, she said. The goal is to enhance young women's interest in engineering and encourage enrolment in engineering programs at the post-secondary level. Women account for only 17 per cent of total undergraduate enrolment in accredited engineering programs. In some disciplines such as computer and mechanical engineering, the figure is as low as nine per cent.

Go ENG Girl is presented by the Ontario Network of Women in Engineering and the RIM-NSERC (Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council) Chair for Women and Science in Engineering. The chair, held by Davidson since 2003, was designed to increase participation of girls and women in science and engineering. It’s supported by a $70,000 annual allocation from NSERC, which is matched by the University and by Research in Motion, the industry partner.

For media questions, contact U of G Communications and Public Affairs: Lori Bona Hunt, at 519-824-4120, Ext. 53338, or lhunt@uoguelph.ca , or Barry Gunn, Ext. 56982 or bagunn@uoguelph.ca .

University of Guelph
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Guelph, Ontario, N1G 2W1