Downey girls introduced to engineering careers

A contingent of female DUSD students traveled to Cal Poly Pomona last week to participate in the Women in Engineering Program, which seeks to increase the number of women in the engineering industry.

A contingent of female DUSD students traveled to Cal Poly Pomona last week to participate in the Women in Engineering Program, which seeks to increase the number of women in the engineering industry.

DOWNEY – Eighty female students from the Downey Unified School District recently participated in Cal Poly Pomona’s Women in Engineering Program, which helps young women explore careers in engineering. Only 11.7 percent of all engineering jobs are occupied by women, according to a news release.

This year’s program was held Feb. 23 and had participation from 100 female middle school students. Of those, 80 were from Downey.

The event featured hands-on activities exposing each student to the different areas in engineering including, Electrical Engineering, Civil Engineering and Chemical Engineering, to name a few.

“We are invested in these students’ futures,” stated Associate Dean of the College of Engineering, Dr. Cordelia Ontiveros. “Engineers make a difference in the world and it directly improves people lives. These young people are our hope for the future.”

For the second consecutive year, DUSD sent 20 young women from Doty, Griffiths, Sussman and Stauffer middle schools to participate in the program.

Through Project Lead The Way (PLTW), these sixth through eighth-grade students experienced firsthand what a career in engineering would encompass by experimenting with positive and negative charges and wiring “blinky bugs” until each student made their eyes illuminate; constructing roller coasters out of material and determining the height and velocity of the coaster with the goal to make a metal pin-ball travel completely though it.

“We are very proud that the Downey Unified School District is one of the top PLTW school districts in the country,” stated Downey Unified School District’s director of CTE and STEM, Phil Davis. “We are also proud of the interest and excitement that is currently being cultivated in our female students for those engineering pathways.

“This Cal Poly Pomona Women in Engineering partnership is invaluable towards that end.”

 

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Published: March 5, 2015 - Volume 13 - Issue 47