A significant day, Introduce a Girl to Engineering Day is marked annually at the end of February during Engineering Week. This year, it takes place on February 25. This day was founded by the National Society of Professional Engineers (N.S.P.E.) in 1951. According to the N.S.P.E., “Engineering Week aims to ensure a diverse and well-educated future engineering workforce by increasing understanding of and interest in engineering and technology careers.” Did you know since the origins of STEM fields in the 18th century (the Age of Enlightenment) have remained predominantly male? It’s a burgeoning issue calling for an urgent redress.
History of Introduce A Girl To Engineering Day
For many years, STEM fields, particularly engineering and computer science, have been under male domination. Data from research over the years reflects a spike with women today; accounting for 14% of engineers in the United States (risen from 5.8% in the 1980s) more work needs to be done to grow representation. Although over time the engineering landscape has received a major boost with more willing female applications churning in, a jaw-dropping 40% of females move to other fields.
Man has forever been intuitively creative, possessing the innate ability to tap imagination and adapt to different situations. Engineering traces its roots to the ancient era where makeshift devices such as wedges, levers, wheels, and pulleys were invented. The word ‘engineering’ comes from the words ‘ingeniare’ and ‘ingenium’ — two Latin words that mean “to create” or ‘contrive’ and ‘cleverness’ respectively.
In the ancient era, the much talked about Egyptian pyramids, ziggurats of Mesopotamia, among others, are proof of early civil and military engineering. Documented records say the earliest civil engineer was Egyptian chancellor Imhotep, one of the officials of the Pharaoh, speculated to have designed the Pyramid of Djoser — the Step Pyramid at Saqqara in Egypt built around 2630 B.C.
Engineering as a profession kicked off in the 18th century, with modern engineering drawing much from Newtonian mechanics (based on Newton’s Laws of motion). Engineering as a field had been male-powered for many years; however, in today’s society, we see women successfully fighting for equal opportunities in the engineering workspace.
Introduce a Girl to Engineering Day had been proclaimed 15 years ago by the N.S.P.E. in collaboration with I.B.M. and the National Engineering Week Foundation. This day is an effort to introduce young girls to STEM professions to create fairness in STEM fields by allowing them to engage in practical work tasks as well as learn about the diverse fields.
Introduce A Girl To Engineering Day timeline
Al-ʻIjliyyah invents the astronomical astrolabes employed to measure time and the position of the sun and stars during the Islamic Golden Period.
President James Madison signs Mary Dixon Kies’ patent for her new technique of making hats by weaving straw with silk and thread.
Coston invents a night signal flare system (Coston flare), which receives a patent and is used by the U.S. Navy.
Lady Katharine Parsons, Amy Johnson, Dame Caroline Haslett, and Professor Daphne Jackson establish the United Kingdom's Women's Engineering Society (WES).
Aeronautical engineer, Austin, makes history as the first woman, the first African-American appointed president and CEO of the Aerospace Corporation.
Introduce A Girl To Engineering Day FAQs
Which engineering is best-suited for a girl?
There’s no limitation. Amazingly, the broadness of the engineering field allows for the accommodation of varied interests. Each branch of engineering offers its benefits but interest should be the main determinant.
What is Introduce a Girl to Engineering Day?
Introduce a Girl to Engineering Day is a day set aside to power the movement of increased participation of girls in engineering, building a better world as well as celebrating talented female engineers via information and interaction.
When is Introduce a Girl to Engineering Day?
Although it doesn’t have a fixed date, it usually falls within Engineers Week in February.
Introduce A Girl To Engineering Day Activities
Spark their interests
Engineering is one of the world's most diverse fields, yet females are largely under-represented. You could ignite curiosity and passion through a showcase of different fields such as beauty, construction, and health where engineering cuts across.
Delve into problem-solving. Get practical and explore the awesome transformative impact of engineering on everyday life through workshops and events, and table the numerous possibilities waiting out there.
Adjust the societal mindset
STEM fields (science, technology, engineering, and medicine) are male-dominated mostly owing to perception and stereotypes. Engineering isn't a "boy" thing, girls are smart and capable too. We must foster mentorship and an enabling environment in engineering for females to blossom.
5 Super Cool Facts About Engineering
Edith Clarke — world's first female engineer
The pioneering electrical engineer achieved the feat in 1919 when she landed her degree upon completion of her MSc. at MIT.
Ada Lovelace — world's first computer programmer
English mathematician, Lovelace, wrote an algorithm for a computing machine in the mid-1800s.
Mae Jemison — world's first black female astronaut
American engineer, Jemison, flew into space and rewrote history as the first African American woman in space in 1992.
Windshield wipers were invented by a woman
Long before automobiles were industrialized, Mary Anderson invented the windshield wiper in 1903.
Marie Van Brittan Brown invented home security
In 1966, she invented a video home security system along with her husband, Albert Brown, who patented the device in 1969.
Why We Love Introduce A Girl To Engineering Day
It opens up a world of endless possibilities
The engineering field, super exciting yet oh so challenging, offers diverse innovative solutions spanning across different sectors (I.T, beauty, health care, food, infrastructure, artificial intelligence); therefore, ushering limitless possibilities for females to thrive.
It encourages efforts towards inclusivity and diversity
Agelong beliefs about STEM fields have led to the drastic underrepresentation of women in the field of engineering. However, with Introduce a Girl to Engineering Day we are faced with the reality that our girls are limited in terms of intellectual development, higher pay, job flexibility, and ultimately robbed of the thrill of conquering a challenge.
It fosters an avenue for reflection and communication
Owing to the low percentage of female engineers and the arguable significance of the field, the burden of what we can do better to change the narrative weighs heavier. Apart from women being given engineering jobs, the need to encourage them via being addressed respectfully, promotion of brilliant talent, and equal pay with their male counterparts, the day helps us address these challenges.
Introduce A Girl To Engineering Day dates