Introduce a Girl to Engineering Day

10 min read

Today is Introduce a Girl to Engineering Day, a time dedicated to the ever-growing movement of educating young girls about futures in engineering. We asked some of our own female engineers to share how they knew they wanted to be engineers, and why having women in STEM positions is so important. Check out their responses below!

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Paulina Guzek

Water Infrastructure Intern

 

When/how were you first introduced to engineering?

I’ve always been interested in how things are made and how they work, so whenever I’d research these things, the word “engineer” kept popping up. Curious, I started to research what engineers do and learned about the different fields of engineering. I remember spending free time watching YouTube clips titled “Top 10 Engineering Wonders”, “Greatest Modern Engineering Marvels” and others.

When did you know you wanted to pursue engineering as a career?

After exploring a few different options, I settled on engineering in the last year of high school. It seemed like a good mix of the math and science that I liked and also brought in aspects of leadership, creativity, and problem-solving that I enjoyed as well.

Why do you think having girls introduced to STEM careers is important?

It’s important to introduce girls to STEM fields early on because those careers are generally portrayed as “male-dominant” and can seem intimidating to young girls. Showing them that women can thrive in STEM and have successful, interesting careers opens the doors for so many different career options that they may have never even considered.

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Leah Kottwitz

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When/how were you first introduced to engineering?

My dad worked his entire career within the engineering field, so to a certain extent I was always familiar with the word. However, it wasn’t until I was older, maybe around high school age, that I began to understand the profession more.

When did you know you wanted to pursue engineering as a career?

While math and science were never necessarily easy for me, I always enjoyed them. I took physics my junior and senior year of high school, and it was team-taught by two teachers who were amazing. Their teaching style and personalities, along with getting to spend time with my dad working on homework and studying for tests, is what ultimately helped me decide to pursue engineering.

Why do you think having girls introduced to STEM careers is important?

Introducing girls to STEM careers is important because it adds additional and varying perspectives, strengths, and ideas to a growing and always relevant field.

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Beth Strunk

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When/how were you first introduced to engineering?

In junior high school I took drafting and decided I liked it enough to continue taking it in high school and beyond

When did you know you wanted to pursue engineering as a career?

I went to a college visit to Southeast Community College and decided that drafting was what I wanted to do for my career.

Why do you think having girls introduced to STEM careers is important?

Girls are given the idea that math and sciences are not cool after a certain age, so I think that countering that with women who enjoy STEM careers is important. Girls just think differently than boys sometimes, so it’s nice to get a good, rounded perspective on ideas that might not be the freshest within the field.

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Sarah Porath

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When/how were you first introduced to engineering?

I was first introduced to engineering as a career my junior year in high school. My CAD teacher brought our class to an Engineering Day at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. We spent all day doing design competitions and learning about the engineering profession. I really enjoyed the day and got excited about engineering as a possible future career

When did you know you wanted to pursue engineering as a career?

I have always been passionate about mathematics, the environment and helping others. Engineering combines all three of those aspects, so when I learned about this career it was an easy decision.

Why do you think having girls introduced to STEM careers is important?

It is extremely important to exposed girls to STEM at a young age. Every girl should have the same opportunity for any type of career as a boy. Women have a different way of thinking compared to men, so having both genders in the STEM field really creates balance in this career. In addition, STEM is a great avenue for any person to pursue. It challenges you, pushes your thinking further, and you help others with your work.

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Megan Gren

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When/how were you first introduced to engineering?

My dad was an engineer so I’d known about it since I was young. Also, I was involved with advanced math and science course/clubs that discussed engineering.

When did you know you wanted to pursue engineering as a career?

I decided the second semester of my senior year when I was taking a calculus class I enjoyed/excelled in.

Why do you think having girls introduced to STEM careers is important?

Right now, STEM careers are often male dominated so it provides a balance in the work place, not just physically, but with types of ideas, mindsets, and personalities. Also, STEM careers are stereotypically thought of being “difficult” to get into so showing girls they too can be involved with STEM is empowering and motivating.

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