Stoneleigh-Burnham School celebrated “Introduce a Girl to Engineering Day” by stepping away from regular classes to participate in a day of hands-on engineering challenges.
Engineering Day was the capstone of the school’s celebration of National Engineers Week, Feb. 16-22, and was geared toward helping girls and women further themselves in the field of engineering.
Rather than having regular classes, students participated in engineering challenges at their grade level in small groups, such as designing and building an airbag system, a robotic arm, or a solar hot water heater, or making a four-wheel balloon car or a rubber band-powered rover. The day began with a virtual conference at an all-school meeting with alumnae working in the field of engineering.
Sally Mixsell, Head of School, said, “Setting aside a whole school day to expose girls to the world of possibilities in engineering underscores the idea that they can be engineers who change the world.”
Taylor Williams, STEaM coordinator and science teacher, said the program meshes with Stoneleigh-Burnham’s curriculum in science, technology, engineering, art, and math.
“Following our mission, we want our students to have the confidence and voice to succeed in any field, but committing this day to engineering hopefully opens up more doors for their future success and potentially begins to even out the gender inequality in the field,” she said.
Jessica Messe, alumna and engineer, said, “It’s a great field and there definitely should be more women in it. It’s a perspective that is definitely needed. I find it very rewarding to go to work every day and point to something physical and say, ‘I built that.'”