WHEN: August 14th, 9 AM – 12 PM, 1 PM – 4 PM
WHERE: Community Recreation Center – Wilmette Park District
3000 Glenview Road, Wilmette, IL 60091
Last week, the hashtag “LooksLikeAnEngineer‘ went viral, as one female engineer after another posted on Twitter what an engineer really looks like, after an ad came out displaying a woman engineer who some said “didn’t look like an engineer.” There is something rare that is happening at Wilmette Park District this week: the goal is to help combat this type of ignorance for future generations.
Two camps filled with eager engineers are being inspired with LEGO…and the students just happen to be all girls. Wilmette Parks District and Play-Well TEKnologies havecollaborated to offer a one of a kind all-girls STEM camp using LEGO. The goal of this camp is to introduce these students to the world of engineering with LEGO, but more importantly, break down the barriers of who can possibly be an engineer when they grow up.
A recent study by the National Science Foundation and the American Association of University Women found that female university graduates were earning less than 20% of Bachelor’s Degrees in STEM related fields. This existed even though the number of H.S. female students identified as “mathematically gifted” (scoring above 700 in the Math SAT exam) was over 33%. The goal of programs such as Play-Well’s is to help introduce these STEM fields at an early age to girls, so that these young female students can see themselves one day as engineers, computer programmers, and scientists.
Play-Well Instructor Gabriella Dupont is currently a student majoring in Bio-Medical Engineering at University of Illinois in Urbana. In this area of study, only 20% of the students are women.
“This is not just pink LEGO. In fact, the curriculum is virtually identical to the co-ed programs. We are simply removing the minority pressure, and fostering the way girls play in the context of building and construction.” With a few LEGO pieces, Gabriella hopes this initiative will help encourage a few future female engineers and change the dynamic about who ‘looks like an engineer.’
For more information, please contact Play-Well Chicago Manager, Maddy Gabor at 847.777.9150 or firstname.lastname@example.org