Saturday, March 31, 2007

Expanding Your Horizons

Today my older daughter and I spent the day at the University of Central Florida's Expanding Your Horizons program.

The program description:

The UCF Expanding Your Horizons Program aims at introducing Central Florida girls to exciting careers in Science, Math and Engineering fields. With the gracious support of women engineers in our community and UCF students, participants will get to experience a taste of college life during their visit to the UCF Engineering Buildings, hear about exciting opportunities for women in engineering, and participate in “hands-on” science and math activities!

My company is this year's event sponsor so I got to welcome all the girls and adult attendees (parents and teachers) to the event. I also was a speaker for the adult program and spoke on "Technical Degrees Open Many Doors." Since my technical degree (Mathematics) has led to jobs as teacher, engineer and currently program manager, I was a good candidate for this talk.

What was very cool was that I had the opportunity to inspire teachers and parents to encourage the middle school girls they work with to keep working their math and science skills because it can lead to better job opportunities down the road. All this while exposing my daughter to the possibilities in the math and sciences.

The keynote speaker is the engineering manager at Universal Studios in Orlando. They design, build and maintain all the rides at the park. How cool a job is that!

A career panel session was held where 6 women answered yes or no questions and the girls had to guess which one was the computer engineer, which one the mechanical engineer, the biologist/zoologist, etc. One was a mechanical engineer / beauty queen. The girls were so amazed that a beauty queen could also be an engineer!

It was a lot of fun for both of us!


IrishBlue said...

That's so cool! I love it when girls & women pursue things *typically* done by boys & men.

Susan said...

How very cool! What a wonderful opportunity for young girls!

As an Architect, I know how it is to be in a typically male-dominated field. Girls rock! :)

I was super-interested in math as a youngster. I hope (actually, I'm sure) your girls will embrace math. (And contrary to popular belief, architects use very, very little math in the grand scheme of things.)

My husband is an Industrial Engineer. We are quite a pair!

Maddy said...

That is really awesome! What a great role model you are!

My 5 year old asked me the other day what could she be when she grew up. I told her anything she wanted. Anything! She liked that idea...

ShirleyPerly said...

What a great opportunity for both of you! Having been a math major and scientist in a very male-dominated environment, I think it's important to see other role models out there who one can identify with.