The Miami Report

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Miami University
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Girl Scouts test engineering careers

One hundred fifth and sixth grade Girl Scouts and scout leaders will descend on the School of Engineering and Applied Science Nov. 6 for Girl Scout Engineering Day.

The scouts will participate in a variety of activities — making paper, operating large manufacturing robots, building bridges out of marshmallows and toothpicks, to name a few — designed to introduce them to a career option foreign to many women, engineering.

Nationally, less than 20 percent of all engineering degrees are awarded to women, said Karen Schmahl (manufacturing engineering).

"Engineering, unlike law or medicine, is one of the few professional fields still lacking in the number of women in its ranks. We bring the Girl Scouts to campus to spark their interest early. We want them to be aware of the careers they can choose in engineering and other math and science-related fields," she said.

Schmahl instituted the Girl Scout Engineering Day five years ago in cooperation with the student chapter of Miami’s Society of Women Engineers and the Great Rivers Girl Scout Council. More than 800 scouts have participated, and far more scouts apply to participate than the university can handle.

"We specifically chose this age group because they are still uninhibited and excited about education and teachers. The bonus for the scouts is that participating in the day’s activities makes them eligible for their Discovering Technology badge," Schmahl said.

The scouts will be on campus 9:30 a.m.-4:30 p.m. Approximately 30 Miami engineering students from SWE, the Society of Manufacturing Engineers, the Association of Women in Computing and the Technical Association of the Pulp and Paper Industry will accompany the scouts throughout the day.

For additional information, contact Schmahl at 9-1933.

Date Published: 10/21/1999
Volume: 19   Number: 13


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