HOUSTON--(BUSINESS WIRE)--More than 300 Houston-area girls became engineers for the day as they invented electric game boxes, constructed ping-pong slinging devices, built and raced wind-powered cars and learned about the engineering profession during the Society of Women Engineers’ (SWE) third-annual “Invent It. Build It.” event on November 10.
In partnership with the ExxonMobil Foundation, Girl Scouts and WGBH-TV’s Design Squad Nation, “Invent It. Build It.” introduced middle-school girls to the rewarding career opportunities available in engineering and encouraged students to further their math and science studies.
“SWE is committed to showcasing diversity within the engineering profession and sharing the incredible ways engineers contribute to improved quality of life,” said Alyse Stofer, president of the Society of Women Engineers. “We hope programs like ‘Invent It. Build It.’ help inspire young women to consider this rewarding profession.”
Activities, coordinated by representatives of Emmy-winning television series Design Squad Nation, helped strengthen students’ problem-solving skills while also demonstrating the fun, hands-on applications of math and science.
“Women represent nearly half the U.S. workforce, yet hold only a quarter of tech-related jobs,” said Suzanne McCarron, president of the ExxonMobil Foundation. “Programs like ‘Invent It. Build It.’ address this disparity in a way that makes a real difference.”
Earlier this year, the U.S. Congressional Joint Economic Committee reported the labor force has a shortage of skilled workers in the science and technological fields, and that the demand for workers in science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) fields is projected to continue to rise in the future. The committee also emphasized the increasing need for more women to obtain the knowledge and skills associated with STEM careers to alleviate the workforce deficit.
Parents and educators participated in special sessions designed to help them support and motivate students to pursue math- and science-related careers. More than 100 female engineers volunteered their time and served as role models, offering insight into their profession.
“Invent It. Build It.” marked the culmination of SWE’s annual conference, which featured an industry-focused career fair, workshops and panel discussions. Similar “Invent It. Build It.” events were held in Orlando and Chicago in 2010 and 2011 respectively.
About the Society of Women Engineers
The Society of Women Engineers (SWE), founded in 1950, is a not-for-profit educational and service organization. SWE is the driving force that establishes engineering as a highly desirable career aspiration for women. SWE empowers women to succeed and advance in those aspirations and receive the recognition and credit for their life-changing contributions and achievements as engineers and leaders. For more information about the Society please visit www.swe.org or call (312) 596-5223.
About the ExxonMobil Foundation
The ExxonMobil Foundation is the primary philanthropic arm of Exxon Mobil Corporation in the United States. The Foundation and the Corporation engage in a range of philanthropic activities that advance education, health and science in the communities where ExxonMobil has significant operations. In the United States, ExxonMobil supports initiatives to improve math and science education at the K-12 and higher education levels. In 2011, together with its employees and retirees, Exxon Mobil Corporation (NYSE:XOM), its divisions and affiliates, and the ExxonMobil Foundation provided $278 million in contributions worldwide, of which $120 million was dedicated to education. www.exxonmobil.com/community.