Sean O’Keefe is a University Professor and the Howard G. and S. Louise Phanstiel Chair in Strategic Management and Leadership in the Maxwell School. O’Keefe served as administrator of NASA during the George W. Bush Administration. In a recent op-ed…
Engaging Young Women in Engineering Through Project ENGAGE
Some of the area’s brightest seventh- and eighth-grade girls are taking part in Project ENGAGE. It’s an immersive week-long program that gives them an idea of what it takes to earn an engineering degree, and the possibilities once they graduate.
Here is a transcription of our story:
Carol Stokes-Cawley, director of Project ENGAGE says “The purpose of project ENGAGE is to take girls from Central New York, middle school girls, and can turn them on Engineering. These girls are very bright. They are high achievers. They had to apply to get into the program. And they might want to be most anything. They might be lawyer, doctor. We are trying to show engineering in a fun, worthwhile career perspective.
I think the stereotypical view of engineer, is maybe what girls think of, when they think of engineer. And there’s so much creativity. There is opportunity they work as teams. We are trying to show girls about that.
This is what we are trying to do right now, is we are simplifying solutions, partly it’s just fun, and it looks neat. Nanotechnology doesn’t have to be super complicated.”
Myesha Williams, Project ENGAGE Student, says “My tech teacher recommended me before. It’s something I want to do, I like the medical fields.”
Lily Datz, Project ENGAGE student, says “I really like science, math and engineering. Even though it’s really good in good school, sometimes people in class don’t like it or don’t follow along. So that doesn’t make it an experience that other people like. Here, everyone likes what they are doing, so all of us focus on a main goal.”
Dr. Katie Cadwell, Assistant Professor Chemical Engineering says “I would have loved a program like this as a student. I just knew I love math, I love chemistry. So engineering just seem like natural. For students don’t seem it naturally. A lot of young woman want to make an impact of the world, they want to help people. And it’s very obvious to them, how doctor helps people, how lawyer helps people, how teacher helps people. It’s not obvious to them how engineer helps people, because it’s not a direct thing. This program is showing them you can make a difference in the world, by being an engineer, you can have possible to impact, even you don’t necessary need people that you are helping.”