Girls Go Green, Girls Go Global!


Demographic data suggests that the number of students who will enroll in engineering programs at U.S. universities will decline in the near future. One way to offset the potential reduction in the number of future engineers in this country is to increase the number individuals from currently under-represented groups in STEM majors. For example, women make up more than one-half of all college students in this country but are less than one-fourth of the engineering student body. There are initiatives at all levels to increase the number of women studying engineering, and this paper describes two grass-roots level initiatives at the Missouri University of Science and Technology in Rolla, Missouri. The Missouri S&T geological engineering program and the Women's Leadership Institute teamed to develop two new programs intended to attract rising junior and senior high school women. Girls Go Green and Girls Go Global share many attributes including a focus on hands-on activities, contemplative activities, structured recreational activities, and interaction with undergraduate and graduate students who act as potential role models. Each camp includes theme-specific activities. For example, a multi-part Girls Go Green activity is the erection of a 1 kW wind turbine on a 50 ft guyed tower that requires the girls to learn basic surveying, the use of scratchpad math software (and trigonometry knowledge), and the ability to work together during the wind turbine assembly and erection. In Girls Go Global, female faculty from Brazil and Guatemala led country-specific activities such as a Guatemalan fashion show and a sing-along in Portuguese. Both programs are relatively new, but preliminary data are available that show meaningful direct and indirect yields associated with these efforts.

Meeting Name

World Environmental and Water Resources Congress 2012: Crossing Boundaries (2012: May 20-24, Albuquerque, NM)


Geosciences and Geological and Petroleum Engineering

Keywords and Phrases

College Students; Demographic Data; Engineering Program; Female Faculty; Graduate Students; Guatemala; Guyed Towers; Hands-On Activities; High School; Math Software; Missouris; Potential Reduction; Preliminary Data; Recreational Activities; Role Model; Science and Technology; Scratchpad; Turbine Assembly; Under-Represented Groups; Personnel; Professional Aspects; Water Resources; Wind Turbines; Students

International Standard Book Number (ISBN)


Document Type

Article - Conference proceedings

Document Version


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© 2012 American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE), All rights reserved.

Publication Date

01 May 2012