FEA - Future Engineers of America

Last weekend Big E's Brownie troop attended the UT Introduce a Girl to Engineering Day event. Events that are Girls Only or Boys Only have usually rubbed me the wrong way since my gut feeling is that by making it "special" it actually just draws attention to the fact that there are more boys in engineering than girls. Why this is acceptable but we wouldn't dream of having an Introduce a [insert group here] to Engineering Day to highlight some other group's minority status in the College of Engineering, is beyond me.

ANYWAY, we went and Big E had a great time. She was a little unsure about it all but she won a prize at the first event and she was sold whole-heartedly on the glories of engineering. Asked to devise a floating watercraft made only of one square piece of aluminum foil on which to pile coins and accumulate as much money as possible, Big E spent 45 minutes creating her boat, collecting
change from all over the room and methodically dispersing her coins evenly over the structure, careful to use only quarters and dimes since it was a contest for the greatest dollar amount, not just number of coins. The engineering student who was helping her with this was thoroughly in her court and helped her shake down other students (he practically pounced on one girl who was trying to scoop up our stash of coins) for money to add to the boat until it finally sank under the tremendous weight at 2:47 pm, CST with cargo amounting to $13.26. The rest of the day was filled with gumdrop dome structures, cotton ball catapults, etc...fun, fun, fun. When asked by an engineering student at the end of the event what the girls wanted to be when they grew up (obviously going for an enthusiastic "ENGINEER!" yelled in unison), she instead got "teacher!" and "veterinarian!" as answers. Kids are so honest.

1 comment:

mike said...

I look at the girls only event as a form of affirmative action. Traditionally, girls have been directed away from engineering, thus it is dominated by males. When the field is more equally represented by both sexes, then it won't be necessary.