Trustee Duggan poses with a student at the 2010 Girl's Day event
…equal billing for starters. For years, the idea that girls lacked talent, interest and ability in math and/or science has been proven FALSE. Math anxiety, in most cases, is a learned behavior!
Only twenty percent of engineering undergraduates are women while a mere ten percent of the engineering workforce is female. In a move to change these stats, “Introduce a Girl to Engineering Day” was set aside eight years ago as part of the annual international Engineer’s Week celebration. First observed in 1951, it is among the oldest of America's professional outreach efforts, its purpose - to raise public understanding and appreciation of engineers' contributions to society. And, for one day, “Girl’s Day”, was set aside to educate, recruit, attract and convince girls K through 12 to give the profession a chance!
Nitsch Engineering, a woman owned engineering firm located in Boston, MA, celebrated this special day for the 9th consecutive year on March 10th. In partnership with Kid Wind, First Wind and Vanderweil Engineers, Nitsch invited local girls in grades six through twelve to discover how renewable energy sources can help reduce pollution and save the environment. Academy Trustee, Meghan Duggan, MMA, BS Engineering ‘99 and MS Facilities Management, ’05, was one of five women engineers who sat on Nitsch’s panel, answering questions from the sixty young attendees. Duggan, loving her job as Assistant Director of Mechanical Electrical Plumbing and Sustainability for Harvard Business School, is always ready to advise and recruit potential young female engineers.
“Sign up for next year’s event … but while you’re waiting, do some homework … READ! A good place to start is a book called, Girls Think of Everything: Stories of Ingenious Inventions by Women authored by Catherine Thimmesh. You’ll be inspired by women putting their creative powers to practical uses, everything from ice cream cones to Kevlar and space shields. Perhaps you’ll even be moved to invent something that will dazzle the world!”