Northshore STEM Coalition to host Engineering Day for Girls
Friday, February 12, 2021
by: Tonya Lowentritt
HAMMOND – The Northshore STEM Coalition is hosting Engineering Day for Girls
(ED4G), a free, annual event that aims to introduce girls to the field of engineering.
Scheduled Saturday, Feb. 27, from 10 a.m. to 12 p.m., the event will include both
in-person and virtual registration options, with in-person registration being limited
to small numbers due to COVID-19 precautions.
ED4G centers on an engineering challenge to be completed by event participants and features women in the engineering field as guest speakers. Event participants will have the opportunity to ask questions and have discussions with STEM professionals while exploring and honing their own engineering skills.
Led by Southeastern Louisiana University and Northshore Technical Community College, Northshore STEM increases community awareness and interest in STEM by promoting and creating STEM events and supporting out-of-school programs in the Northshore region.
Chuck Crabtree, co-chair of the Northshore STEM Coalition, said the whole idea behind Engineering Day for Girls is for participants to leave the event with the mindset, “I am what a future engineer looks like!”
“For our country to remain competitive in the rapidly changing world of technology, we need a diversity of viewpoints, as well as the creativity and innovation of both male and female participants,” Crabtree said. “Women have traditionally been underrepresented in engineering, but we can change that. By providing support, encouragement, and access to more opportunities to apply STEM knowledge and the engineering design process, we can help girls envision themselves in engineering careers.”
This year’s engineering challenge is to construct a functional bridge out of popsicle sticks and wood glue, which will be provided by the event organizers. NASA System Quality Engineer Renee Horton will lead the activity.
“Showing our girls that they can create and innovate something techie, is an amazing experience for them,” Horton said. “When they realize they can do it, it makes the impossible seem possible for all their dreams. Engineering is the start of them creating something amazing.”
Participants will use the engineering process to design, build, and test their bridges. Winners will be selected in different categories, such as the bridge that holds the most weight using canned goods as weights, the most cost-effective bridge that uses the least popsicle sticks, and the fastest built bridge.
Engineering Day for Girls is open to girls of all ages, but those under third grade must have a “Lab Assistant” (parent, older sibling, or guardian) to supervise during the activity. Boys of all ages are also welcome to join in on the fun, and can participate as “Lab Assistant” to a girl “Lead Engineer.”
In-person event locations will be:
● Hammond (Southeastern Louisiana University - Main Campus)
● Lacombe (Northshore Technical Community College - STEM Campus)
● Walker (Northshore Technical Community College - Livingston Campus)
To reinforce the idea that engineering requires collaboration, all three campuses will be connected with each other for the event, as well as with those participating from home via video conferencing.
Registration is required for both in-person and at-home participation. For more information and to sign up for the event, go to http://bit.ly/3jmWAFR.
For more information about Northshore STEM, visit www.northshorestem.org.