KIHEI – Maui girls in grades 7-8 will be discovering the exciting and lucrative field of engineering during Introduce a Girl to Engineering Day (IGED) on Thursday, February 25th, Maui Research & Tech Park, 8:30 am- 1 p.m.
In celebration of National Engineers Week, Maui Economic Development Board’s Women in Technology (WIT) program is hosting the popular event to expose girls to the male-dominated field of engineering and encourage them to become engineers themselves.
For the past 16 years, WIT has teamed up with the County of Maui, Maui Electric and local engineering firms to provide a day of hands-on engineering activities and worksite visits.
According to WIT Project Manager Mapu Quitazol, women still represent less than 5% of engineers in Hawaii and studies predict there will be a further shortage of engineers in the next two decades.
“Together, we can challenge those daunting statistics,” Quitazol said. “The sooner we get girls engaged in the field, the faster they can begin learning the skills to compete for these high-paying, in-demand engineering jobs.”
“This is the number one career parents should be encouraging their girls to pursue.”
Teachers must accompany girls on the company visits and help transport them to and from the worksites. DOE substitute stipends are available.
Here are some comments from past participants:
(This event) made me want to be an engineer because there are many things you can do to improve everyday life for many generations. ~ Jhereene, Lahaina Intermediate
It has impacted my desire to pursue a career in engineering (and become) a software engineer. ~ Grace, Kalama Intermediate
Going to an engineers worksite and seeing what a big role they have in our community (inspired me) to pursue engineering as a career. ~ Christine, Iao Intermediate
The first IGED even will take place on Hawaii Island. Hawaiian Electric has graciously opened their doors to host 30 middle school girls from Hilo Intermediate School and Kalanianaole Intermediate School.
On Maui, 60 girls from Maui Waena Intermediate School, Iao Intermediate School, Kihei Charter School, St. Anthony, and Montessori School of Maui will be participating in the 16th Annual IGED Maui Event. These girls will learn about engineering fields on Maui from several companies around the island: Maui Electric Co., County of Maui – Wastewater Reclamation, HC&S, SSFM, Air Force Research Laboratory, Boeing, Electrical Construction Company, HNU Photonics, and Maui Makers.