Wednesday, February 25, 2015

'Girls in Engineering Day' promotes STEM subjects

Middle school girls from around the district recently gathered for “Girls in Engineering Day” to explore the design process through engineering and architecture.

Girls in Engineering participant Hosted by Stanley E. Foster School of Engineering, Innovation and Design (EID) at Kearny High School, the event kicked off with remarks from San Diego City Councilwoman Sherri Lightner, who was a female engineer before her political career.

Students participated in a Rube Goldberg competition, designing and constructing a mechanism that moves items without human contact, incorporates a balloon and includes a zip line. They worked in teams comprised of five middle school girls, one EID high school girl mentor and an engineer mentor from SDSU, UCSD or SDG&E.

Michelle Bunn from Project Lead the Way talked about career opportunities for women in engineering and about the Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) between The School of Engineering, Innovation, and Design and the engineering program at SDSU. The MOU between EID and SDSU includes guaranteed admission to the College of Engineering if a student progresses successfully through specific courses and completes the additional parameters of the agreement. More information on the memorandum can be found on Kearny EID’s website.

According to the U.S. Department of Commerce, over the past 10 years, growth in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) jobs was three times as fast as growth in non-STEM jobs. STEM workers are also less likely to experience joblessness than their non-STEM counterparts.

Girls in Engineering Day Participants Although women make up nearly half of the working population, they remain underrepresented in STEM occupations. Women with STEM jobs earned 33 percent more than comparable women in non-STEM jobs – considerably higher than the STEM premium for men. As a result, the gender wage gap is smaller in STEM jobs than in non-STEM jobs. Women hold a disproportionately low share of STEM undergraduate degrees, particularly in engineering.

For more information about this event or Kearny’s School of Engineering, Innovation, and Design contact James Michaelian at