AUSTIN, Texas—Careers in Engineering for Women (CEW), a residential summer camp for middle school girls sponsored by the University of Texas at Austin branch of the Society of Women Engineers, is collecting applications.
The society will select 40 girls from across Texas to participate in the weeklong residential camp, June 13-19. More than 300 young women applied last year to the program, which is free to participants.
Among the activities offered to spark interest in engineering careers, will be a weeklong team problem-solving challenge. Divided into small groups, the girls will work to solve an engineering problem, such as last year’s design challenge: creating a device to entertain a cat for five to seven seconds.
The purpose of the program is to motivate young women to pursue careers in engineering, to develop teamwork, communication and problem solving skills, and to familiarize participants with the broad opportunities an engineering degree can offer. The girls will explore engineering through hands-on activities, visit local industries and university labs to get a first-hand view of engineers on the job and meet professional engineers and engineering students and faculty.
Since the program’s inception in 1992, more than 1,000 girls have been introduced to engineering. In summer 2003, it won the first Building the Future Award, given by the Society of Manufacturing Engineers’ Education Foundation, for “excellence in programs that engage middle school students and/or educators in an effort to increase the number of young people, particularly women and minorities, choosing careers in the fields of manufacturing, engineering, science and technology.”
“Although women make up about half of the overall population, less than 10 percent of employed engineers and only 22 percent of University of Texas at Austin undergraduate engineering students are women,” said Tricia Berry, a chemical engineer who is director of the Women in Engineering Program. “Research indicates that girls historically have been directed away from advanced math and science classes, which provide the academic preparation crucial to a successful engineering career. One of CEW’s goals is to counteract that trend so girls can maintain their confidence and be successful.”
The society is accepting applications for Careers in Engineering for Women 2004. The brochure and application are available through the Careers in Engineering for Women Web site. Applications have also been mailed to Texas middle school principals and science and math coordinators. Applications must be postmarked by Saturday, Jan. 31.
The program is funded by the following sponsors: Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board, Student Government at The University of Texas at Austin, General Motors, Texas Instruments, and Procter and Gamble.
For more information concerning the CEW program, please contact the UT Austin section of the Society of Women Engineers at 512-471-3657, firstname.lastname@example.org.
For more information contact: Kalpana Manthiram, 512-343-8328.