Women in STEM | Introduce a Girl to Engineering Day

Let's talk about women in STEM! First, did you know that one of history's first computer programmers was a woman? Secondly that she was responsible for creating the first algorithm. Ada Lovelace was one of many female engineers who changed the course of our world.

Women have often been leaders of innovation, bringing their unique creative insights into male-dominated spaces. However, the percentage of women employed in STEM fields remains comparatively low. The gap is evident in the engineering field, where only 13% of America's engineers are women. [1]

Most importantly, in an effort to create a more diverse workforce for the future many of today's top companies, universities, and organizations have created programs to foster the talents of bright young women who may be interested in pursuing STEM careers.

Introduce a Girl to Engineering Day

To celebrate and push this movement the National Society of Professional Engineers created Introduce a Girl to Engineering Day, which will occur on February 25. The event centers around participants engaging in engineering-themed educational fun to enhance their problem-solving skills and deepen their interest in engineering concepts. How awesome, right?!

While events for Girl Day would normally occur in-person, due to the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic, this year's events will be mostly virtual. However, you can find more information on the NSPE website to see how you can get involved and participate.

Elementary kids playing Kodable as they learn STEM education.

How to Start STEM Education with Coding  

Now, with many types of learning and activities falling under STEM education, where should you start? If you're looking for a way to celebrate Girls Day and introduce STEM, give coding a try.

Coding is a great way to cover most academic areas inside STEM while having the added bonus of fostering problem-solving skills, critical thinking, and resilience. When thinking of preparing females (and all learners) for 21st-century success, coding promotes and grows the life skills needed.

The best way to nurture those skills is by sparking learner's interest and engaging them! That's where Kodable steps in! Kids start their journey with Kodable as they teach themselves the ABCs of code through interactive games, missions, and creative assignments.

Teachers: sign up for your free account here

Parents: start your free 7 day trial

Shout Out to the Female Engineers

Finally, let's look at some historic women in STEM. Future female engineers will be in company with Ada Lovelace and other innovators, including:

  • Alice Parker, an African-American housewife from New Jersey whose patent for a gas-powered central heating system remarkably pre-dates both the Civil Rights and Women's Liberation movements. Her invention inspired many of the heating systems used today.
  • Henrietta Vansittart, the inventor of a highly efficient propeller used by the Navy to improve speed and fuel efficiency as a self-trained engineer, is considered to be one of the first female engineers.
  • Evelyn Wang, the Chair of the Department of Mechanical Engineering at MIT, collaborated in the award-winning design of a technology that can extract water from night air in desert climates.

However, the list doesn't stop there. Click here to see more!

Female Engineers Infographic, Women in STEM.

Keep STEM Education Going

There are many ways to continue growing your learner's interest in STEM . First, check out our STEM Holiday Calendar for information on all STEM holidays with coordinating activities to try. Or check out some ideas on literature based stem activities to connect STEM and reading. Finally, let's see females do awesome things in the STEM field!

Guest Author:  Neve Spicer