Campaign: Girls Engineering Change
The idea is simple: teach young girls how to impact the world through STEM fields by actually letting them do it.
Girls Engineering Change (GEC) seeks to close the gender gap in science, technology, engineering and mathematics by encouraging girls through the construction of engineered products and connecting them to a network of college mentors who help them throughout their education.
The curriculum enables middle and high school girls to build a tangible product to be used in developing world nations.
The theory of change resides in tackling the two main problems which prevent girls from studying engineering in the first place: lack of understanding and lack of encouragement. The method attempts to tackle both of these issues and inspire students to challenge these conceptions.
Currently, GEC has reached over 500 girls, primarily central North Carolina. These young girls partner with university students who take them through a one day session of their choice to expose them into engineering fundamentals.
First, a presentation exposes girls of the various types of engineering, what their professions entail, and exposes them to how they can solve major global issues through engineering including global health, clean water, or green energy. Then, they are paired with a college mentor who helps them construct different devices. The presenters explain where their product will go and how it will be used to help someone somewhere in the world.
Currently, girls are able to construct a solar powered USB charger which is donated to the Red Cross for use in disaster relief settings, ECG Simulators which are donated to Engineering World Health, and a calculator for low resource schools.
Girls are encouraged to explore multiple sessions to gain exposure to more mentors and more issues they can address. Mostly, our sessions seek to show girls that they, with just a little guidance, can create a product that will help change the world.
With some encouragement and smiles along the way, Girls Engineering Change closes the stigmas and barriers that prevent girls from engaging in STEM fields when they reach college.
The campaign’s goal is $2000 and ends in 26 days.