Engineering and Engineering Technology are essential to a functioning society leading to these professionals to be highly sought after in the workplace. Recent data shows that, despite many Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) initiatives over the past decade to increase the number of those entering into the Engineering and Engineering Technology fields, the percentage of women engineers (and computer scientists) remains fairly low. Several reasons contribute to the low number of women in these fields, such as support of supervisors/co-workers, perceptions of working environments/conditions, and lack of awareness of what engineering/technology careers entail.
It is important to set up and execute STEM outreach activities to encourage young women to become more involved in engineering/technology fields. By setting up STEM programs offered specifically to young women, young minds are given an opportunity to get hands on experience as to some of the duties of what a career in engineering could entail, helping clear away confusion regarding the field. Programs like these would also offer a kind of support system between fellow students and the teacher, helping encourage young women to stay involved in the field. This paper describes such a program implemented in a University in Louisiana. The program employs female students currently attending an engineering technology program at a university to teach young women from neighboring schools how to design and draft using computer applications such as Autodesk AutoCAD. The program, named “Girls Who Draft”, aims to stimulate awareness regarding career options in engineering/technology, motivate more young women to pursue careers in these areas, and to recruit more female students into the university program to eventually graduate with a degree in these high demand fields. The program is structured so that young women from nearby schools come for a 2-hour block to one of the departments’ computer labs that have the AutoCAD software available. The engineering technology faculty and students provide these young women with a hands-on introduction to drafting. Future expansions of “Girls Who Draft” plan include multi-day and multi-session formats where more detailed content can be explored.
Are you a researcher? Would you like to cite this paper?
Visit the ASEE document repository at
for more tools and easy citations.