Today marks the celebration of the International Day of Women and Girls in Science, an occasion designated by the United Nations (UN) to underscore the imperative of enhancing gender diversity in STEM (science, technology, engineering, and mathematics).
The UN emphasizes that in pursuit of its Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), such as advancing healthcare and mitigating climate change, greater inclusion of women in STEM is essential to widen the pool of talented researchers, infusing their perspectives, talent and creativity.
At McMaster University’s Faculty of Engineering, there is a steadfast commitment to this cause, evident in the deliberate and impactful engagement initiatives undertaken. This commitment is also reflected in the core values of the Faculty’s newly crafted five-year strategic plan: Engineering a Brighter Future. While there has been notable progress, exemplified by a 43 percent representation of women in the incoming undergraduate cohort of Fall 2023, the journey toward inclusivity and equity remains ongoing.
Here’s four ways Mac Eng’s Community Outreach team is connecting with girls and young women through barrier-free programming.
- Go Eng Girl
A free, annual event designed to inspire girls and non-binary youth in Grades 7 to 10 to explore the field of engineering. Through engaging hands-on activities and exhibits, participants will have the opportunity to delve into the world of engineering while interacting with women undergraduate students, professional engineers and professors, who will share their inspiring stories of passion and success. Stay tuned for registration information in the upcoming months.
2. Girl Guide Workshops
Available for Sparks, Embers, Guides, Pathfinders and Rangers, these free video modules were created in Fall 2023 to bring exciting STEM-based content to girls and young women. Guide units are sent a badge (pictured) for each participating member to celebrate their dedication to furthering their STEM learning.
3. Go Code Girl
This free, in-person event is designed to create a supportive, collaborative, and fun environment for students to connect with each other and discover the excitement of engineering. Participants will dive into the world of coding through sound. They’ll first learn how to create their own sound visualizer in Processing before creating their own personal speaker while learning about the fundamentals of electromagnetism and sound. Participants will also have an opportunity to chat to current McMaster Engineering students and learn about their experiences. Register now.
4. Synergize for STEM
A free, in-person, annual event for girls in Grades 6 to 8 and 9 to 11 that fosters a supportive, collaborative and enjoyable atmosphere for students to explore the wonders of engineering. Participants delve into hands-on STEM workshops and fireside chats with McMaster Engineering mentors, all complemented by campfire snacks! The STEM Workshop integrates a design challenge and circuit project focusing on water conservation, directly linked to the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goal #6. Stay tuned for information about an upcoming Synergize for STEM event.
Learn more about McMaster Engineering’s Community Outreach work and stay tuned for the newly developed Go Phys Girl program.