Nearly 150 girls from neighborhood elementary and middle schools heard about engineering as a career and participated in workshops during Engineering Girls @ the Beach Friday.
The event, sponsored by the CSULB chapter of the Society of Women Engineers, in addition to the American Society of Mechanical Engineers and Southern California Edison, is intended to introduce girls early on to the advantages of studying engineering.
The CSULB College of Engineering on Monday held its first workshop on how to meet the needs of diverse types of students considering engineering. Organized by computer science professor Alvaro Monge through a grant from the National Center for Women and Information Technology, the workshop featured CSULB social psychology postdoctoral researchers Matt Jackson and Mia Steinberg.
Steinberg drew on her own experience working as a software developer in the Silicon Valley for a decade. “For the vast majority of the years, I was the only woman in the group,” she said, adding that there were no discriminatory practices, just a lack of women in the pipeline.
When Future Girls @ the Beach launched two years ago, only a handful of girls would raise their hands when asked if they wanted to pursue engineering. But now that the CSULB high school outreach program is in its second year, the number of future engineers is growing.
“A lot more girls raise their hands now,” says Saba Yohannes-Reda, CSULB College of Engineering Director of K-12 Outreach and Recruitment. “It seems that we are winning.”
Girls participating in the program visit CSULB once a month for a scheduled activity. On Monday, several dozen took advantage of the President’s Day holiday to shadow their mentors, tour CSULB engineering labs and facilities, and hear a presentation on cognitive radio from electrical engineering Assistant Professor Shabnam Sodagari, who recently joined the program. Continue reading “Encouraging More Girls to Study Engineering”