How did University of Illinois make Engineers Week even BETTER this year? We hosted our first annual “Introduce a Girl to Engineering Day.” The purpose of this event was to get high school girls interested in engineering and the University of Illinois. Students experienced an Engineering Expo where fifteen engineering societies showcased hands-on demonstrations ranging from testing out robots to trying a computer program that helps civil engineers decide what materials to use when building structures. Students also heard from the CEO of a start up company, Intelliwheels, and got to see how engineers can develop their entrepreneur skills. The highlight of the day was a design challenge where the high school girls were divided into teams of five and paired with a college student to brainstorm a design that would make the everyday lives of the elderly easier. The students not only got to bond with their groups, they were also able to creatively problem-solve with their groups to find unique solutions. One of the winning designs was an app that made it easier for the elderly to learn how to use new technologies such as laptops, iPads, and smart phones. Overall, the high school students were able to see a different side of engineering and hear our stories about why we have a passion for STEM fields.
~Article submitted by the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign.