Catching the Engineering Bug

The Texas Tech Society of Women Engineers hosted “Catch the Engineering Bug” event on Nov. 16, bringing middle school girls together to learn about engineering.

Hannah Boland, the vice president of the Society of Women Engineers, said the main goal of the event was to bring awareness to girls on what engineering is.

“Our goal is to have that light bulb experience,” Boland said, “so when they come into college they know what engineering is, or help them figure out what they want to do when they get into college.”

Cynthia Sangang, a member of SWE, said middle school girls in the Lubbock area were invited to participate in the event.

“We have different activities that they get to watch or participate in,” Sangang said, “so they can learn about science and engineering and what engineers actually do.”

Sangang said the activities ranged from building a straw boat to making a parachute for an egg drop.

Alyson Oliver, a 6th grade home-school student who attended the event, said she learned a lot coming to the event.

“I’m learning about how to use wires to make a flashlight,” Oliver said, “and I’m learning about all the types of engineering, and it’s just a lot of fun.”

Oliver said she likes the fact that SWE hosts “Catching the Engineering Bug” event because it gets her interested in pursuing a science or engineering career.

“I’ve always been interested in solving problems,” Oliver said, “and I like building things and finding out how things work and taking things apart.”

Sangang, the member of SWE, said SWE hosts events like “Catching the Engineering Bug” to promote women’s involvement in science and engineering.

“Which is why this event is created to get them interested,” Sangang said.

Boland, the vice president of SWE, said she has read articles where girls think engineering is just for men, and for that reason, they pursue female dominant careers.

“We are here to show them that there are women in engineering,” Boland said with a smile.

Deborah Harr, a 7th and 8th grade science teacher in Tahoka Middle School who brought her students to the event, said girls do not pursue male dominant field because it is not the norm in our society.

Harr said the events that SWE hosts have an effect on her female students.

“It opens their minds to be able to see, and when the girls see other women in engineer they can say ‘well I can do that,’” Harr said.

She brings her students to SWE events because it exposes and encourages them to pursue a career they thought was for males only.

“These types of events get them motivated,” Harr said. “It puts a seed in them.”

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