This week students participated in WeMadeIt, a program designed to encourage girls to explore and learn more about engineering. Funded by Hydro One in partnership with Ryerson University, University of Ontario Institute of Technology, University of Waterloo, and Western University, the program's goal is to increase the enrollment of and career opportunities for female students pursuing engineering. The program matches schools with volunteer engineers and also provides lesson plans and classroom resources. Girls are exposed to fun and interesting activities, and also have the opportunity to meet with women engineers who can share information about their work and interests.
The Engineer-In-Residence (E-in-R) assigned to our classes were great and really involved and committed to the program. Linden students started the program in January and we had our last session this week.
The Grade 5 and 6 girls started the project by being introduced to our E-in-R's work in flood control systems. On two special engineering afternoons, the girls researched, designed, built and tested a dam system, and a turbine generator. Our E-in-R answered questions and provided encouragement during the building and testing process.
Grade 7 student activities culminated in building a power generator. We learned about how electricity is produced and the engineering process involved. Emma thought that the activity was fun, while Lucia and Lily mentioned that the instructions were difficult to follow. This feedback was perfect for the group discussion that followed our lab work, where we talked about how no instructions are provided in real life situations, and that there is often little clarity on how to proceed next. This helped our girls understand that part of the engineering process is to be able to think on our feet, problem-solve, and work in groups to find the best solution.