Teenage girls and their parents had some special parent-daughter time at Weber State University on Saturday over hydraulics and cranes.
For the fifth consecutive year Weber State hosted its Parent-Daughter Engineering day. It was started to help get girls more involved in engineering.
Dana Dellinger, the outreach and recruiting coordinator for the College of Applied Science and Technology, who organized the event this year, said it’s about more than just engineering education. The event is also a relationship-building experience.
“I think it gives a different approach to the relationship to what they normally have. The parents and daughters are working together as a team,” said Dellinger.
Celeste Baine, the director of the Engineering Education Service Center in Oregon, created the event to promote engineering, especially for girls who sometimes don’t see it as an option.
“We wanted girls to realize all the different opportunities they could have in engineering,” Baine said. “I knew from my own daughter and from her friends’ experiences that if mom wasn’t on board, or mom didn’t understand everything you could do with an engineering education, that you couldn’t get the support at home that you needed.”
Families are brought together to have a fun experience with engineering activities, like hydraulic cranes and hovercrafts, but also to learn what an engineering degree can bring.
Baine has set high expectations for what events like this can do. She believes that it can help make the world a better place.
“This workshop specifically is my way to make a better world, because I really feel like if more people could get into doing things they absolutely loved everybody would be happier,” she said.
Baine emphasized the importance of role models.
“The difference in boys and girls is that a boy can look at a crane and say, ‘I want to build that.’ And a girl will look at the person building the crane and say, ‘I want to be like them,'” Baine said.
Baine and Dellinger helped make the event meaningful and entertaining to the Freeman family. Katrena Freeman and her daughter Naya Freeman enjoyed the learning and hands-on experience.
“I wish I had something like this in high school,” Katrena Freeman said.
Naya, an eighth grader, is already looking for scholarships and excited for what opportunities could come from engineering.
Naya also had a lot of fun and is happy with the work she did engineering. “It is amazing,” she said. “The student engineers told us that the girls did better than the boys on some of the events.”
Baine explained to the parents and daughters at the event how most things that we use daily somehow needed an engineer. From toothpaste to the car’s engine, engineers are involved, Baine said.
Baine also told the parents and daughters that engineers aren’t only used for engineering, but they can be writers, teachers and other occupations, “because they learn how to be problem solvers,” Baine said. “We had a quiz earlier of three engineers who became engineers. There are engineers in the Senate. They become doctors and lawyers—it’s your golden ticket.”
Baine believes that acquiring an education in engineering is important.
“I’m not telling the girls to become engineers. I’m saying get an engineering education because it will set you free,” Baine said.