UW event encourages girls to pursue STEM careers
Jennifer K. Baker, CTV Kitchener
Published Saturday, October 15, 2016 4:58PM EDT
Last Updated Saturday, October 15, 2016 6:11PM EDT
Science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) programs at Canadian universities are typically dominated by men.
But Go ENG Girl is trying to change that.
The outreach program, launched at the University of Waterloo and hosted by the Ontario Network of Women in Engineering, gives girls an opportunity to explore STEM careers.
About 150 girls between grades 7 and 10 gathered at the University of Waterloo Saturday to hear from women currently studying engineering, learn more about STEM programs and participate in hands-on activities.
While STEM enrollment is not yet gender equal, organizers say they’ve seen a big improvement since Go ENG Girl started.
“Over the past twelve years we’ve seen the numbers really rise at the University of Waterloo,” says Mary Wells, the Chair of the Ontario Network of Women in Engineering. “In fact, this past September we had our highest ever number of women in engineering in our first-year program, at close to 30%. So we’re excited about tha, and part of the reason for that is outreach programs such as Go ENG Girl.”
Sixteen other universities across Ontario also have their own Go ENG Girl program. It has also expanded to campuses in Alberta, British Columbia, Manitoba and New Brunswick.