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October 5, 2018 10:56 AM

Explore careers in engineering at Go ENG Girl

On Saturday, October 13, Conestoga’s School of Engineering and Information Technology will host Go ENG Girl at the Cambridge campus. The free event provides young women in grades seven to 10 with an opportunity to explore the field of engineering through hands-on activities, discussions with women studying engineering and a tour of the campus.

Conestoga College - Go ENG Girl 2018.jpg
Young women in grades seven to 10 are invited to attend Conestoga's Go ENG Girl event on Saturday, October 13 at the Cambridge campus.

Go ENG Girl events are hosted annually by engineering schools throughout Ontario. The event was conceived by the Ontario Network of Women in Engineering (ONWiE) to help dispel stereotypes in engineering by connecting girls to female engineering students and alumna. According to ONWiE, women made up only 20 per cent of the students enrolled in post-secondary engineering programs across Ontario in 2017.

Conestoga is the only college in Ontario to offer accredited engineering degree programs and the only college member of ONWiE.

Kathleen Holtz graduated from Conestoga’s Mechanical Engineering Technology - Design and Analysis (co-op) diploma program in 2004 and completed the Bachelor of Engineering - Mechanical Systems Engineering degree program in 2007. She was just one of two women in her programs.

“I am a long-time supporter of Go ENG Girl to show girls that they can do anything and that engineering is not just for boys,” said Holtz. “I think it is a good activity to get girls interested in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) classes and help show them that being an engineer is awesome, and to not be afraid of it because it is a male-dominated field.“

Holtz is currently the Mechanical Engineering Standards and Training coordinator at Eclipse Automation in Cambridge.

“I think I knew I wanted to work in something STEM-based back in grade six and I haven't looked back. I am proud to be one of two women graduates from my diploma and degree programs. I hope in the future more girls take the plunge and try engineering; it provides a gratifying career where you can be doing anything from helping people with medical problems to fixing a bridge,” said Holtz.

Go ENG Girl encourages participants to think like engineers through activities that require creative solutions to challenging problems and highlights the importance of pursuing math and science prerequisites in high school. Since its inception, more than 17,000 girls and their parents have participated in the program, which has also started to spread to other engineering schools throughout Canada.

Conestoga strives to increase enrolment of women into the college's STEM programs and supports numerous initiatives and outreach activities to support this. In addition to Go ENG Girl, the college’s Trades and Technology days, Jill of All Trades and Go CODE Girl events are held at Conestoga campuses for young women to learn more about careers and opportunities in engineering, technology and the skilled trades.

“I might be one-sided on this, but I believe the programs offered at Conestoga College are more comprehensive, providing hands-on experiences and co-op programs to test out the field to make sure this is the direction you want to go in your career,” explained Holtz who left another post-secondary institution to attend Conestoga. “I had a hard time with the fact that everything was to the textbook; I switched after the first semester because I wanted something more hands-on. I will never regret changing to Conestoga for my diploma and then degree.“

Conestoga's Mechanical Systems Engineering and Electronic Systems Engineering are accredited by the Canadian Engineering Accreditation Board. The college also delivers degree programs in Building Systems Engineering and Power Systems Engineering.

Visit Conestoga’s Go ENG Girl event listing for an agenda of activities and information about registration.

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