Conestoga news

November 27, 2023 6:06 AM

Girls explore hands-on engineering activities at Go ENG Girl

Building circuits to light LEDs and creating code to guide a mini robot were the hands-on workshops girls joined at Conestoga’s recent Go ENG Girl event, held at the Cambridge - Fountain Street campus on November 18.

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Go ENG Girl is held on campuses across Canada to give girls and non-binary youth in grades 7-10 and their parents/caregivers the opportunity to learn more about engineering.

Go ENG Girl is held on campuses across Canada to give girls and non-binary youth in grades 7-10 and their parents/caregivers the opportunity to learn more about engineering.

Close to 30 youth participated in the Conestoga event, joined by many parents and siblings.

The free annual activity was started in 2005 in recognition of the need to bring more women into the field, seeing that the numbers were “sparse.”

“We’re happy to say that number has grown significantly since 2005,” Erin Camm, manager of the School of Engineering and Technology, told the auditorium of girls and their families.

While the girls participated in the two hands-on workshops, their parents heard more about the field and were able to ask questions of faculty, students and working engineers.

Why engineering? There are diverse opportunities for a career in engineering from marine biology and environmental engineering to biochemical and mechanical engineering. Plus, an engineering education leads to in-demand careers, good compensation, cool projects and making a difference in the world.

“There’s lots of different options for different types of people and different types of girls,” Camm said.

“We’re hoping that you’ll consider and have some fun today, explore with your hands and your minds what is possible with engineering. Maybe we’ll see you in a few years.”

Conestoga is Ontario’s only college to offer fully accredited engineering degrees.

After listening to speakers, which included panelists from Eclipse Automation as well as the lead project engineer at Honeywell Aerospace and a Conestoga graduate, the girls split into two groups to try their hands at circuitry and robotics. The girls learned the basics of building an electric circuit board to light LED bulbs, and created a code in markers to instruct the movements of a line-following robot.

Grade 10 Brantford student Joanna Jomis enjoyed the circuitry workshop, soon lighting up the bulb plugged into her breadboard. 

“It’s pretty cool,” Jomis said. “I really, really like engineering and I want to pursue a job in it.”

Trying out circuitry was an eye-opening experience for Grade 7 student Myra Hendry.

Engineering’s kind of cool,” she said.

The event was sponsored by Eclipse Automation, the Ontario Network of Women in Engineering, TD Bank, General Motors Canada and Engineering Deans Ontario.

Conestoga’s School of Engineering & Technology offers a comprehensive suite of programs with a wide range of credentials in areas including architecture, civil, construction, mechanical and electronics. Programs feature project-based learning, co-op work experience and applied research opportunities.