Posted: August 02, 2012
The Women in Engineering (WiE) Program at The Ohio State University will host “WiE GROW,” a summer camp to inspire eighth-grade girls to pursue careers in engineering, August 6–10. Sponsored by The Scotts Miracle-Gro Company, WiE GROW brings together students from across Ohio to participate in science-related activities aimed at promoting girls’ early engagement in engineering.
“During the middle school years, girls’ interest and confidence in math and science drop due to peer pressure and negative stereotypes,” says Glenda La Rue, director of Women in Engineering at Ohio State. “The WiE GROW camp allows participants to have fun while learning about the impact they can have as an engineer to people and society. The camp also exposes girls to female role models and mentors, who help motivate participants to continue with math and science so that they can be prepared to enter into an engineering curriculum in college.”
At Ohio State, enrollment of women engineering students has steadily increased from 13.5 percent to 18 percent over the last five years, due in part to the College of Engineering’s summer programs like the WiE GROW camp.
“We are proud to be long-time partners with Ohio State and the WiE GROW program in nurturing the next generation of engineers,” says Bruce Caldwell, vice president, Global Research and Development, ScottsMiracle-Gro. “Helping these young women discover their potential in science and engineering benefits our community, schools and business.”
Evaluation of previous camps shows that WiE GROW is successful in engaging young girls in engineering. In 2011, 93 percent of WiE GROW attendees indicated the camp had a significant impact on helping them understand engineering better and 83 percent indicated the camp boosted their interest in engineering as a career choice.
“I didn’t know what engineering was until I came to camp,” says Aly Bond, a 2011 WiE GROW participant from Upper Arlington, who now plans to pursue a career in welding engineering. Bond presented at a national conference this summer on her camp experience. She adds, “I thought you got all dirty and greasy, but it’s really not dirty or greasy…it’s just fun.”
One component of the camp has students complete mini-projects designed around multiple areas of engineering, including mechanical, civil, agriculture, environmental and materials science. This year, camp participants will create rain catchers and learn the entire engineering design process from mechanical drawing to hands-on creation. The mini-project also serves as a community service project.
Students will donate the rain catchers to Chadwick Arboretum and Learning Gardens during the August 10th dedication ceremony at 10:30 a.m. on The Ohio State University campus.
Other activities at WiE GROW camp focus on:
- Aerospace engineering––Students will
work on a project involving air swimmers, radio-controlled helium
balloons that fly.
- Biomedical engineering––Students will
visit the Ohio State Biomechanics Lab and learn about force,
motion and energy.
- Chemical engineering and
rheology––Students will create a compound called Ooblek out of
cornstarch and water while discovering more about the flow and
change of shape of matter.
- Electrical engineering––Students will
visit OSU’s High Voltage Lab and make speakers out of cardboard
- Industrial and systems
engineering––Students will design ice-cream scoops for
individuals who have trouble grasping objects.
- And much more.
The 2012 WiE GROW program is made possible through the
generous support of The Scotts Miracle-Gro Company and the
participation of multiple Ohio State engineering departments. For
more information about Ohio State’s Women in Engineering
programs, please visit http://wie.osu.edu/programs.
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Editors: Reporters and photographers are welcome to cover any aspect of the camp. Please contact Shawna Fletcher at firstname.lastname@example.org, 614-292-0003 (office) or 602-403-6169 (cell) for more details and to make arrangements.