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Engineering Has Lack of Females

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The number of girls that take part in Dimond High School’s engineering program decreases every year.

In 2016, there was a total of 25 girls in the Engineering program and out of those 25, 11 of those girls graduated with the Engineering cord and completed the four-year program.

That was an all time high for Dimond High School according to Lea Bouton a former nuclear engineer who now teaches Chemistry and Engineering.

Then the numbers slowly drop.

In 2017, seven of the 19 girls who started the four year program graduated with the cord.

The Principles of Engineering teacher, Bouton, always encourages girls to join the class because there has always been a lack of women in the engineering field.

Bouton and Jennifer Childress, a physics teacher at Dimond High School, hold Smart Girls Rock every year.

It is for ninth through eleventh-graders who are in Engineering or in a science and math class with a passing grade.

Smart Girls Rock encourages girls to join the Engineering program by grouping everyone together to meet real-life women engineers.

They provide lunch and other prizes students can win while enjoying an afternoon listening to the engineers explain how they got where they are and answering any questions that students have.  

They hold this assembly once a year, and only girls are allowed to go. This is so girls get a better understanding that engineering is not only a man’s job.

After holding events like this, hopefully the number will increase. Kathy Villa, a senior at Dimond High School thinks the same.

“ I think it will steadily increase. It all won’t make a major change at once, but hopefully the numbers will slowly increase over the next few years,” Villa said.

Most girls who complete all four years of the Engineering program tend to further their education in that field.

“Over 50 percent of the girls I have had are still studying engineering in college. I know one is still attending the School of Mines and another is studying neuroscience,” Bouton said.

That number, 50 percent, seems like a lot, but that’s only from about a total of 18 girls through the course of 2016 and 2017.

Many girls don’t realize how studying engineering can lead to so many different subjects such as math and science. Even writing and drawing can lead into being an engineer.

That’s why senior Hannah Goodrum thinks engineering is such a great field to research. However, she is not shocked about the lack of girls who take that class.

“It does not shock me that much. Our society is really geared in a way that when girls take engineering it’s not something that interests them right off the bat, which is really sad because engineering is such a broad field,” Goodrum said.

The number of guys who take that class could also be intimidating to some girls because most think of engineering as a guy’s job. Many girls think this way, and Hannah Goodrum agreed with this.

“ Honestly, it’s something I’ve gotten used to over the years. It can be a little annoying getting underestimated, but besides that the only problem I have with it is that I wish there were more girls, no issues with the boys themselves,” Goodrum said.

Kathy Villa, a four-year Engineering student, also agreed that it can be intimidating working with a classroom full of boys.

“The boys have some type of entitlement. They want to give you the jobs they think you’re best at. For example, they want you to do the sketches or work on the aesthetic, not the actual building portion itself,” Villa said.

Villa and Goodrum are great examples for the idea behind the program because they show that they have the talent to build and design items just like the boys do.

Engineering isn’t just a man’s job, and in the future Dimond High School’s Engineering program hopes to increase the number of girls who continue and graduate in the program.

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Engineering Has Lack of Females