Female Engineering Majors Encouraged

Posted: December 9, 2013 at 5:02 am, Last Updated: December 10, 2013 at 7:15 am

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George Mason University’s Volgenau School of Engineering is teaming with the National Center for Women & Information Technology to encourage more female students to major in engineering.

Current female engineering students will visit classrooms, both at the university and at area high schools, as “Volgenau STEM Ambassadors” to emphasize that technical occupations are relevant in all industries and that such a path can help solve real-world problems and yield rewarding careers.

STEM is an acronym for science, technology, engineering and mathematics.

Mainly targeting students with undeclared majors and those about to enter college, Volgenau and the NCWIT are particularly interested in attracting more majors in applied information technology, computer engineering and electrical engineering. That message will be aimed at male students as well.

Volgenau and the NCWIT will conduct a Senior Design Project Showcase to acknowledge student achievements in various majors. 

“The NCWIT Extension Services grant allows us to expand our outreach activities to not only our undeclared undergraduate students, but also to local high schools and community colleges,” says Kamaljeet Sanghera, executive director of Volgenau’s STEM Outreach program.

Others involved in the initiative include Pelin Kurtay, associate chair for the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering, and Angela Arndt, NCWIT Extension Services consultant.

“Encouraging young women’s interest in technology careers is critical,” says Lucy Sanders, CEO and co-founder of NCWIT. “Our workforce needs their creativity and their innovation. The goal of this launch is to immediately increase the visibility and raw numbers of women in these programs.”

Write to Preston Williams at pwilli20@gmu.edu

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