Weber State University hosted its ninth-consecutive Parent-Daughter Engineering Night on Oct. 26. It’s a way to help young girls get more involved in engineering, a predominately male field.
Dana Dellinger, event organizer and outreach and recruiting coordinator for the College of Engineering, Applied Science and Technology, said it’s more than just engineering education—it’s about teamwork and relationship-building experience.
“This is about introducing girls and their parents to engineering technology to show them that they can do it, they can solve these challenges and can go on to great careers into STEM,” said Dellinger.
Dellinger encouraged other professors to bring their ideas and let the girls challenge themselves to create their own projects.
The girls started the evening by learning how to write and pronounce their names in Japanese.
Their next project was called “Magic Treasure Box: Lighting up minds with glowing boxes.”
Ayla Hamblin, a seventh-grader at South Davis Junior High School, worked with her mother to create a light-up jewelry box. She said creative events like these help her develop skills for the career she hopes to pursue.
“I want to be a coder or website designer, so this is not really my area of engineering, but as I get older, I may look into that field,” Hamblin said.
While the focus was on the girls, their parents weren’t left out. They encouraged, supported and helped their daighters finish their projects.
“It’s really important to us that parents see their daughters as STEM people,” Dellinger said. “We want them and their parents to work together on engineering and technology projects, so they can see that they’re totally doable, fun and interesting.”
After the first two activities, software engineer Tammy Platero spoke to the girls about opportunities in the engineering field. She explained her background and said in the beginning, she didn’t have an interest in engineering at all.
“I didn’t know that engineering could necessarily be a career path for me,” Platero said. “Going to events like this is my way of giving someone else that thought that they can do it,”
Platero believes that there should be more engineering events like this, because developing an interest in STEM at a young age can encourage more young women to pursue the career and increase the field’s diversity.