Introduce a Girl to Engineering Day is an opportunity for young students to explore the world of science. On Friday, 120 sixth, seventh and eighth grade girls gathered at the Egan Center in downtown Anchorage for the annual event.

It was hosted by ExxonMobil, Girl Scouts of Alaska and the Anchorage School District.

Students were grouped with mentors and given hands-on challenges, like building a paper tower as a team, creating their own lip gloss and learning about geology.

One goal of the event is to encourage girls to look into careers in science, technology, engineering and math by giving them a safe space to experiment. Students also got a chance to ask questions of women working in the field.

Ultimately organizers say encouraging young minds is an investment in future engineers.

"If you employ only one type of people, they're all going to try to come up with the same answer," says Pamela Tanner a Facilities Adviser for ExxonMobil Alaska, "by getting the biggest group or pool of people that you can, you just arrive at a better solution."

Tanner says the average for women in engineering jobs is 25%, but events like this can change that.

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