Engineering and Sheep

windfarmsheepAbout two weeks ago, I attended the birthday party of a good friend. In making conversation I met a woman who owned a sheep farm. After I had the pleasure of learning oodles of information about sheep, she said,

“Don’t you encourage girls to go into engineering?”

“Yes, and boys too.” I said.

Then, to my horror, she said, “My daughter would have made a great engineer, she thinks just like a man.”

I sat there for a few seconds with my mouth open, unable to form words. I knew I couldn’t change her perception of engineering in the space of a party without getting crazy and without enough time. In addition, her daughter was now in her late twenties with children so no immediate change in behavior would change the trajectory of her daughter’s life.

When I recovered, in my struggle to stay civil and keep my voice steady, I said,

“What does your daughter do now?”

She said, “She never really found the right thing. She is working as a receptionist.”

I stared at the floor as she went back to talking about sheep. How I wish she and her daughter had the opportunity to attend a Mother/Daughter TEA Workshop all those years ago. The event is a great education for mothers too and provides the support for a daughter to pursue a STEM career. In many workshops, I’ve had mothers approach me and ask if it was too late for them to become engineers. I’ve heard countless stories from mothers about how an event or person steered them away from engineering but now, they wanted to try again.

We don’t have to let history repeat itself. In the Mother/Daughter TEA workshop, mothers will see that their daughters make great engineers. The idea that engineering is only for people that think like men is skewed and outdated. Exposing mothers (or both parents) to engineering and to how her daughter can have a meaningful, prestigious and lucrative career is the one of the goals of the Mother/Daughter TEA workshop. They will understand the large range of career possibilities and see how and where their daughter’s talents fit. For any girl, having her mothers support can not only build a stronger relationship but can also increase her self-confidence. This event can provide the scaffolding to pursue her dreams.

The Mother/Daughter TEA is a 4-hour hands-on engineering workshop, usually on a Saturday morning, held in your community. If you aren’t doing these or planning one, contact me for more information. I still have about 10 Saturdays available this school year and would be happy to help you jump start an engineering program or recruit for your classes next year.

Crazy Popular Workshops!

If you want to promote engineering and/or STEM careers, below is table that outlines two of the best workshops you can offer students and parents. Of those polled, 96% of students that attended say they are now considering an engineering (or STEM) career.

If you want to engage students and parents, recruit for your engineering classes or motivate students, these workshops are the answer! All available dates in 2015 are listed in our new online booking system.

Jump aboard now because the train is already moving.

Parent/Child Workshops!

Engineering Exploration Day (EED)Mother/Daughter TEA (Technology Engineering Aptitude)
Who attendsParent or guardian and middle school son or daughter.

*Ages can range from 5th-10th grade.
Usually Mother and middle school daughter. Can also be a Parent/Daughter Day so that either parent can attend.

*Ages can range from 5th-10th grade.
Number of attendeesUp to 40 teams of parents and children.Up to 40 teams of mothers and daughters.
Time of eventMost often, this event is held on a Saturday morning from 9:00am-1:00pm or 10:00am-2:00pm. Mini sessions can also run from 5:00-8:00pm on any night of the week.Most often, this event is held on a Saturday morning from 9:00am-1:00pm or 10:00am-2:00pm. Mini sessions can also run from 5:00-8:00pm on any night of the week.
Celeste Baine's ResponsibilitiesShe will bring all materials needed to engage no more than 40 parent/child teams in hands-on engineering activities for the entire workshop. Activities are customizable but usually include solving problems, building tabletop hovercrafts, designing catapults, helmets or cranes.

She will also bring prizes, and a copy of Is There an Engineer Inside You? for each student.
She will bring all materials needed to engage no more than 40 mother/daughter teams in hands-on engineering activities for the entire workshop. Activities are customizable but usually include solving problems, building tabletop hovercrafts, designing prosthetic hands, helmets or cranes and placing a band-aid on a Whale.

She will also bring prizes, a take-home engineering kit and a copy of Is There an Engineer Inside You? for each student.
Host Organization's Responsibilities1. Provide the workshop location.
2. Marketing, inviting and registering students and parents.
3. Provide morning snacks and lunch.
1. Provide the workshop location.
2. Marketing, inviting and registering students and parents.
3. Provide morning snacks and lunch.
Host one of these very popular workshops in your community!

In addition, if you want to have many of these workshops at your location (a very good idea), attend one of our Train the Trainer workshops to get on the fast track to offering this extraordinary opportunity.

For more information, download our event planning guide or email Celeste.

Celebrate eWeek

Engineers Week is right around the corner. This is a chance to celebrate engineering and technology with thousands of like-minded people all over the world.

To find out more about engineering and learn ways to celebrate, visit: http://www.discovere.org/discover-engineering

If you want to decorate the halls, put up some posters. The majority were designed by students and I promise you will find many that you like. http://www.stemposters.com

If you run contests or competitions and need inexpensive student prizes, check out our colorful and fun engineering pins. http://www.engineeringedu.com/store/index.php?route=product/category&path=62

If you want to do easy, fun and high-engagement hands-on activities with students, take a look at Teaching Engineering Made Easy for activity ideas and inspiration. http://www.engineeringedu.com/store/index.php?route=product/category&path=33_67

If you are an engineer planning to visit a classroom, take a look at our eWeek kits to make your visit memorable and dynamic. http://www.engineeringedu.com/store/index.php?route=product/category&path=97

Whatever you do, just be sure to celebrate. The week runs from Feb 22-28, 2015.

The Beauty of Hydraulics

phandWhen teaching engineering design, there are a few principles that make you think differently. Everyone is used to putting puzzle pieces together in a certain way. We each have own way of doing things. But hydraulics changes everything.

In our new Hydraulics Challenge Laboratory, teams of students are given syringes, tubing and an assortment of other materials to challenge them to create something powered by hydraulics. To make a syringe, filled with water, power and move something stretches your mind. It makes you think differently. I’ve seen students whiz through hydraulic activities and I’ve seen them get stumped. The best part is that at the end of a 60-minute build period, they all have something that works.

If you want to have fun during Engineers Week this year, this lab is the way to go! You’ll receive a box of materials that will enable you to hold five hydraulic design challenges. There are enough consumables to have 5 teams of students create a puppy that sits on command, 5 teams can make a draw bridge, another 5 can make cranes or prosthetic hands or marble chutes. 25 teams of students can work simultaneously on exactly what they want. When they are through, reuse the syringes and tubing and you’ll still have enough materials to do it again the next day and the day after that (for up to 5 days). There are no wrong answers and what a great way to experience engineering design!

Check it out!

Girls and Engineering – Training Date Added

Reserve your spot in our upcoming Mother Daughter TEA (Technology Engineering Aptitude) Train-the-Trainer Workshop! This event is one of the best I’ve ever seen at getting middle school girls interested in engineering and technical careers. If you aren’t holding one in your community, your girls are missing out on an extraordinary opportunity.

Date: February 21, 2015, 9:00-3:30

Mother/Daughter TEA held at Ferris State University in Nov, 2014

 

The Train-the-Trainer workshop is an opportunity to become a certified TEA trainer and enables you to use our materials, resources and marketing connections to hold your own Mother/Daughter TEA events in your community. When you want to host TEAs in your community, your credentials will save time and money.  You’ll walk into a room of 40 girls (and Moms or Dads too) with everything needed to smoothly facilitate an engaging event that will help prepare them for high wage opportunities in the engineering and technology industries.

There’s more! This upcoming training is very special in that everyone who comes will receive a free Is There an Engineer Inside You? upgrade!  Usually, within each toolkit is a set of 40 copies of Ideas in Action: a Girl’s Guide to Careers in Engineering that you can give to each girl to take home and learn more about engineering careers. For this Feb 21 workshop only, you will receive a case of Is There an Engineer Inside You? instead of Ideas in Action. This is a $998 value – more than the cost of the workshop!

Date: February 21, 2015, 9:00-3:30

Location: Willamalane Adult Center, Springfield, OR

If you are planning to attend this training, register right away to reserve your spot. Space is limited.