High School Girls take part in 'Women in Engineering & Science Day'

3/13/2014

In celebration of International Women’s Day, Stevens Institute of Technology welcomed more than 30 high school girls to campus on Friday, March 7, during its “Women in Science & Engineering Day,’’ to showcase what an engineering career looks like and the opportunities available in The Stevens Summer program.

During the “Women in Science & Engineering Day,’’ the girls, from about 20 New Jersey high schools, viewed the university’s cutting-edge 3-D printing machine, toured campus, and were among the first to see some of the design projects that will be on display during Stevens’ Innovation Expo, to be held on April 30. Stevens’ Innovation Expo is a campus-wide event where Stevens seniors, working in small groups, show off their Senior Design Project, something they have worked on for an entire academic year.

Some of the projects the girls saw were Perseus, a U.S. government-sponsored underwater remote-controlled vehicle for finding unexploded bombs; the Shell Eco Marathon Prototype Car; and the First Response Disaster Assessment, an unmanned system with the ability to offer assistance to first responders after a structure is damaged.

“We want to encourage women to pursue degrees in engineering and science, if that’s what they love,’’ said Marsha Melynk, director of Summer Programs, Office of Undergraduate Admissions at Stevens. “There is still an underrepresented amount of women in these fields and having a day for them to speak with peers and undergraduate women as well as see the various project being conducted is a great way to gain a better understanding of what engineers and scientists do.’’

Sabrina Jordan, a high school sophomore, first heard of The Stevens Summer program through an email from Stevens. When she heard of the “Women in Science & Engineering Day,’’ her interest was piqued immediately, she said, and she asked her mom if she could go.

“I told her (my mom), ‘You have to get me into this,’ ’’ she said.  “This will really get me ready for college.’’

Sylvana Azana ’14, a civil engineering major, showed off her design, The First Response Disaster Assessment system, to the girls. She said it’s important for girls of any age to see other females in traditionally male-dominated fields.

“Exposure is so important. When girls hear about the design projects and then see women working the projects, it makes the projects real to them,’’ she said. “With the Innovation Expo, so many different fields of engineering are working together to create something. I’m a civil engineering major and I’m working on a mechanical engineering project. But we’re all learning from each other, all contributing. That’s a great lesson to show.’’  

The Stevens Summer program is a pre-college program offered for high school students that features hands-on learning in a college prep workshop setting. For Summer 2014, eight courses – Exploring Career Options in Engineering and Science (ECOES); Business; Computer Science; Multimedia Production; Pre-Med; Engineering Game Design; Innovation & Entrepreneurship; and Science, Technology and Society (STS) – will be offered to a limited number of students who enroll before May 1. The courses range from one to two weeks in length and offer students a chance to learn from industry professionals, experience campus life, visit Fortune 500 companies and venture into New York City.

International Women’s Day is marked annually on March 8 and is a global day celebrating the economic, political and social achievements of women past, present and future.

For more information about The Stevens Summer, visit www.stevens.edu/summer.

About Stevens Institute of Technology

Stevens Institute of TechnologyThe Innovation University®, is a premier, private research university situated in Hoboken, N.J. overlooking the Manhattan skyline. Founded in 1870, technological innovation has been the hallmark and legacy of Stevens’ education and research programs for more than 140 years. Within the university’s three schools and one college, more than 6,100 undergraduate and graduate students collaborate with more than 350 faculty members in an interdisciplinary, student-centric, entrepreneurial environment to advance the frontiers of science and leverage technology to confront global challenges. Stevens is home to three national research centers of excellence, as well as joint research programs focused on critical industries such as healthcare, energy, finance, defense, STEM education and coastal sustainability. The university is consistently ranked among the nation’s elite for return on investment for students, career services programs and mid-career salaries of alumni. Stevens is in the midst of a 10-year strategic plan, The Future. Ours to Create, designed to further extend the Stevens legacy to create a forward-looking and far-reaching institution with global impact.