Friday, April 3, 2009

Girl Guides Outreach

Last fall, my younger sister (also an Engineer) and I ran a girl guides workshop at a local Girl Guides camp where we had approximately 150 girls participate in our activity. The event was a great success and we had a ton of fun!

My sister with all of our supplies before the girls arrived

We gave the girls a small introduction about what engineering is and what engineers do and then we let them loose on all of the materials we had available. The task we gave them was to build a bridge. We didn't show them any examples or give them any tips. So the designs were completely left to the girls' imaginations. The results were incredible!

Some of the groups were a bit hesitant to start but once they got building they were full of ideas! Each bridge was completely unique and nothing was overlooked. Some bridges even included street lights and miniature cars. It was amazing to see the confidence, creativity and team work that they displayed.

One of the designs

The most rewarding part of the day for me was being able to tell the girls that my sister and I are in engineering - to which the girls would look at me with wide eyes and ask "really?!" I think by meeting current women in engineering they were really able to see that engineering is something that girls can be amazing at! I even had one girl tell me, very enthusiastically, that she'd never considered engineering before but she would now!

All in all, it was a great day and I hope that it left as lasting an impression on the girl guides as it did on myself.

6 comments:

  1. Hey! These girls are so innovative! As a woman in engineering myself, I can't wait to follow their future successes!

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  2. Hey, I didn't know you were a guider! Or were you dragged into it by your sister - I know I do that to the women in my class.

    I had to drop guiding - it's too hard on me to be there for only half the year because of co-op or conflicts with class. But I had a pretty good engineering badge programme. I've done it twice, and it's ready to go again. I'd love to talk to you about what you did for each part of the challenge, just to compare notes.

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  3. Actually, this workshop is all that I've done with Guides and at the time I didn't know about the Engineering badge.

    Since this event went so well, I am working with the manager of ESQ (Engineering Science Quest Camp) to plan a Saturday workshop on campus in May where guides can come and get their badge.

    The manager of ESQ is planning the events that will fill the badge requirements and I am focusing on recruiting volunteers - so if you are around Waterloo in May and would be interested in helping out let me know!

    Even if you're not around we can definitely compare notes (once we've finalized the activities). I'd love to hear what you've had success with!

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