'Smart Girls Rock' Program in High School Aims to Get Girls Interested in Engineering
Dimond High brings in female engineers to talk to students
ANCHORAGE - A special event at Dimond High School Friday aimed to get more girls interested in the field of engineering. The program is called “Smart Girls Rock,” and the idea is that girls can succeed in a field that right now is mostly men.
Fifty or 60 Dimond freshmen and sophomores were selected by their teachers to participate in the program. Girls were able to meet with more than a dozen female engineers who had volunteered their time to meet with the young women. Some were surprised at what they heard.
“I think often when girls look at engineering they just think of civil engineering or petroleum engineering,” said sponsoring teacher Jennifer Childress. “So part of what we are trying to do is allow them to see that engineering encompasses much more than that, and that it might have a place for them.”
Another thing Childress says they often hear from the girls is the idea that future engineers must excel at math.
“You don’t have to be an amazing math student to be an engineer,” said Childress. “And it’s nice for them to be able to interact with these women who can tell them those types of things.”
Dimond has held the “Smart Girls Rock” program for several years. It is also the only school in the district that has a four-year engineering academy that students can enroll in as freshmen. Right now there are 225 students enrolled in the program but only about 20 are girls. That’s a little less than the number of women in the U.S. who earn engineering degrees, which is right around 20 percent.