These days, girls are becoming increasingly interested in science, but oftentimes, they let go of this interest come university, in favour of studying topics that are stereotypically more “suitable” for women. The girls in the grade 10 enriched science class want this to change, and were therefore excited to attend the POWE conference at McGill on February 15. POWE—standing for “Promoting Opportunities for Women in Engineering—is exactly what young girls need to inspire them to pursue their interests in science and engineering come university.
Starting with a keynote speaker, we learned that engineering, while definitely a challenging job, is very rewarding. Professors and students told us about the different engineering options, many of which we had never heard about in high school. It was an enlightening morning, considering that one normally associates engineering with only the scientific facts, but we learned that it actually applies to all aspects of life, including government work and even banking, making it a very versatile and beneficial option from which to choose. The day continued with multiple lab tours, where we saw firsthand the diversity that comes with engineering. From air tunnels, to race cars, to machines measuring the pressure rocks can hold, it was very cool to learn about all sorts of high-tech equipment.
The day ended with a student panel, where girls shared their experiences as students in the various McGill engineering programs. And finally, we partook in a friendly competition among students which consisted of who could build the best catapult out of materials that were given to us. Knowing that we could only use paper, popsicle sticks, and a few other arbitrary materials, we learned firsthand about the creativity and innovation required in engineering. It was really impressive to see the designs everyone came up with!
Thanks so much to Ms. Wall for giving us this incredible opportunity. It’s definitely one we won’t forget, and it truly opened our eyes to a potential future career. —Stephanie Hwang ’14, Samantha Mashaal’14, Avital Romoff ’14, Sonia Toy ’14, and Josephine White ’14