1. Ron Ulseth
  2. Iron Range Engineering
  3. Iron Range Engineering, Minnesota State University Mankato, Itasca Community College
  1. araina boyd
  2. Student
  3. Iron Range Engineering
  4. Iron Range Engineering
  1. Jim Boyd
  2. Technology Director
  3. Iron Range Engineering
  4. Iron Range Engineering, Minnesota State University Mankato
  1. kortani martin
  2. Student
  3. Iron Range Engineering
  4. Iron Range Engineering
Public
Choice
Public Discussion
  • Icon for: Kathryn Quigley

    Kathryn Quigley

    Producer and Media Lead
    May 16, 2016 | 02:18 p.m.

    This is a amazing project! I really enjoyed the presentation. Are there plans to repeat this night or offer it in different places? It seems like it would help girls all over the country.

  • Icon for: araina boyd

    araina boyd

    Co-Presenter
    May 16, 2016 | 03:33 p.m.

    We do plan on making this an annual event. For now, we see it as a way to provide opportunities for young women in our area, but we are open to building upon this format and lending our experience to others who might want to utilize this model as well.

  • Icon for: Jorge Solis

    Jorge Solis

    Facilitator
    May 16, 2016 | 05:52 p.m.

    Powerful stories! Thank you for sharing your project. It seems there were either formal or informal mentoring exchanges present too. Could you share if and how perhaps that was also part of the project?

  • Icon for: Ron Ulseth

    Ron Ulseth

    Presenter
    May 16, 2016 | 10:53 p.m.

    Yes. Both formal and informal mentoring were part of the program. Several practicing women engineers presented to the participants about their careers and the uniques aspects of being a female in engineering. Informal interactions took place across the entire event as college students worked side by side with the high school participants.

  • Icon for: Jorge Solis

    Jorge Solis

    Facilitator
    May 18, 2016 | 09:56 a.m.

    Awesome. Thanks Ron. I really think that there are potential mutual benefits here including the mentors. As I listened to the mentors speak about their engineering stories, I couldn’t help but think that you were building an even stronger group of advocates. Any observations related to this positive effect on mentors?

  • Icon for: Marcelo Worsley

    Marcelo Worsley

    Facilitator
    May 16, 2016 | 11:41 p.m.

    This is a great project. As Kathryn mentioned this would be great to launch in other communities around the country. In thinking about the longevity of this work, is there any additional infrastructure (facebook group, google group, website, etc) that can help keep the conversations and mentoring going? This also seems like something that the Society of Women Engineers might be interested in incorporating into their work.

  • Icon for: Ron Ulseth

    Ron Ulseth

    Presenter
    May 17, 2016 | 08:59 a.m.

    Thank you Marcelo. We would definitely be willing to share our model for implementation in other areas. Amazingly, the entire event was planned and executed by two first year engineering students who organized a great body of volunteers and who recruited all of the participants.

    Your comment about a more permanent infrastructure for continued communication with the participants is an excellent idea. We will look to implement this into the future.

  • Icon for: Michel DeGraff

    Michel DeGraff

    Facilitator
    May 17, 2016 | 12:14 a.m.

    Fascinating project. In raising the question “who looks like an engineer?” then making the statement “I look like an engineer”, is there discussion of where these stereotypes come from and how they’ve been transmitted generations after generations? Of course similar questions apply to other under-represented minorities in various fields.

  • Icon for: Ron Ulseth

    Ron Ulseth

    Presenter
    May 17, 2016 | 09:04 a.m.

    Michel – we have those conversations with our undergraduate students on a regular basis as we embrace inclusivity as an outcome for our graduates. However, we did not go that deep with the K-12 participants in our #ilooklikeanengineer event.

  • Icon for: araina boyd

    araina boyd

    Co-Presenter
    May 17, 2016 | 02:00 p.m.

    Michel – Thank you for your inquiry. A short, 20-minute presentation on the gender gap and industry stereotypes were given during the recruiting process. Due to the support of many area school districts, my colleague and I were able to speak with girls, 10th through 12th grade. We then discussed some of the details further when engaging in an open ‘circle time’ during the actual event. We also felt it was important to stress the positive success stories of women in the engineering field, both past and present. It was interesting to hear what impressions the young women had of engineers and how their opinion changed in just one overnight session. Our hope is to inspire young women, interested in solving problems, view a career in engineering as a pathway to making a positive impact on society.

  • Icon for: Michel DeGraff

    Michel DeGraff

    Facilitator
    May 17, 2016 | 02:26 p.m.

    Well done! As I think about the gender gap (and other stereotypes) around STEM, I wonder whether it may be helpful to look at gender as one among the other proxies that groups in power use to maintain and transmit various social hierarchies. So have you thought of having your students look at gender from a broader perspective analyzing social structures. From that perspective, I was struck that most of the girls “looking (and talking) like engineers” in the video are (look?) white. In the entire video, there were very few non-white girls. May such images inadvertently serve yet another gap, namely race-based stereotypes about who looks like an engineer and the concomitant racial gaps? Is that a related issue that may be worth discussing in these open circles?

  • Icon for: araina boyd

    araina boyd

    Co-Presenter
    May 17, 2016 | 02:37 p.m.

    Michel – You make a very good point. Although our location may contribute to this appearance, we are very open to making a continued effort to diversify our event even further. We strongly feel approaching the engineering profession with a spirit of inclusivity is at the heart of our mission. Open discussions on this matter would add even greater value to our event.

  • Icon for: Julie Steimle

    Julie Steimle

    Program Director, CEEMS
    May 17, 2016 | 02:45 p.m.

    Great video! I am curious, how did you settle on the idea for an overnight event (as opposed to a day long event)?

  • Icon for: araina boyd

    araina boyd

    Co-Presenter
    May 17, 2016 | 03:04 p.m.

    Hello Julie!
    We felt that an overnight event gave us the opportunity to have a camp-like experience while still fitting into the student’s busy schedules. This format gave us an opportunity to have project time and fun time. We really wanted to expose the students to a variety of engineering disciplines. For example, participants assembled toys that were made with modern tools, for the purpose of donating to local charities. The girls were very involved with the Systems Engineering aspect of that particular project. The next morning they were able to engage in a mock oil spill, all while discussing Environmental and Chemical Engineering. At each meal time, we had a guest speaker join us. The guest speaker, a female engineer, would then stay for further discussion and to participate in the more informal events of the night/morning. It was a busy two days, but the girls loved it. Though we could have designed a program for just one day, this gave the girls time to get to know one another and our volunteers. The most common feedback we received was, that they wished it was longer. Though we may not be prepared to add another night soon, we were encouraged to repeat the event in 2017.

  • Icon for: Julie Steimle

    Julie Steimle

    Program Director, CEEMS
    May 17, 2016 | 03:11 p.m.

    Thank you. The clarification helped. When I saw the words “overnight event”, I interpreted that as a lock-in type event where activities were being conducted in the wee hours of the morning. I understand now that “overnight event” meant it was a two day night. I apologize for my confusion.

  • Icon for: araina boyd

    araina boyd

    Co-Presenter
    May 17, 2016 | 03:16 p.m.

    No problem! Thank you for asking.

  • Icon for: Tamara Moore

    Tamara Moore

    Associate Professor, Engineering Education & EngrTEAMS Principal Investigator
    May 17, 2016 | 05:09 p.m.

    Hi Ron and IronRangeEngineering folks!!!

    This looks like a great program. I am always amazed by what is going on at IRE. The engineering education community has a lot to learn from you.

    #ilooklikeanengineer

  • Icon for: Ron Ulseth

    Ron Ulseth

    Presenter
    May 17, 2016 | 06:09 p.m.

    Thank you Tamara. We learned from the best.

    #ironrangeengineering

  • Icon for: Cynthia Stevenson

    Cynthia Stevenson

    EngrTEAMS Project Director
    May 18, 2016 | 09:19 p.m.

    This looks like a great project – and it’s exciting to learn that two first year students were instrumental in making it happen. I’m wondering if you used any vehicle for followup or ongoing conversations/connections between your participants?

  • Icon for: araina boyd

    araina boyd

    Co-Presenter
    May 19, 2016 | 08:42 a.m.

    Cynthia – This is an excellent idea. We have followed up by thanking each participant individually and asking them for feedback, but we would like to provide a short summer program for the young women as well. This concept is still in the development stage, but we feel that would reinforce our message and continue to encourage the young women to pursue their passions in engineering. What we found, was that it was much more challenging to draw the teenage girls. We noticed a gap in participation in Engineering programs at that grade level. This drop in participation was the motivating factor to create an event that they would feel comfortable with, and that would inspire them. Offering something with more technical depth in the summer would be ideal. Also, as Marcelo mentioned, providing an online presence for maintaining contact with the girls would be of great benefit. Thank you for your question!

  • Further posting is closed as the showcase has ended.