Involving women in engineering starts at an early age, with programs and activities that demonstrate to young girls that engineering is a profession directly serving community needs. Numerous activities help young girls gain access to engineering concepts, as well as role models within the engineering profession. Engineering regulators, educators, community organizations, parents, and industry all have an important role to play in addressing and challenging existing attitudes associated with the engineering profession, that often hold women back from pursuing post-secondary engineering programs.
Engineers Canada wants girls and young women to see the possibilities that engineering can offer them and has a number of programs that seek to introduce engineering to young girls, hoping to spark a life-long interest and passion for engineering.
30 by 30 K-12 Outreach Guide
Engineers Canada, in collaboration with engineering outreach experts within the 30 by 30 Champion’s network, developed a guide to assist engineering outreach programs address gender stereotypes, promote the engineering profession, and embed equity and inclusion throughout their work. The 30 by 30 K-12 Outreach Guide is intended for programs that offer engineering outreach activities to children and youth, of any gender, from kindergarten through high school. It provides a set of rubrics with which these engineering outreach programs can evaluate their strengths and weaknesses in promoting inclusive practices for everyone regardless of their gender, sexual orientation, race, class, or visible/invisible disability.
ExploreEngineering.ca is Engineers Canada’s resource hub for young Canadians to take their first step toward discovering a rewarding future in engineering. Explore Engineering features descriptions of the various engineering disciplines, profiles of engineers and their work, and an interactive Chart Your Course feature that identifies which engineering disciplines might be of interest to a young Canadian based on their skills and interests. Each March, during National Engineering Month, visitors can also find information on the hundreds of hands-on events taking place from coast to coast to coast to demonstrate the exciting world of engineering to young Canadians.
Girl Guides crest
The engineering crest was created by Engineers Canada, in partnership with Girl Guides Canada, to be awarded to Guides who complete engineering-related activities under the supervision of a member of the engineering community such as an engineer, engineer-in-training, engineering graduate, or engineering student. These activities—like exploring how vehicles work, introducing the concept of simple machines, or experimenting with how lipstick is made—are designed to illustrate the many ways that engineering shapes everyday life. By participating in the program, girls also gain a better understanding of how the world around them works.
Over 6,000 girls across the country receive an engineering crest each year, sparking their interest in engineering and giving them a chance to learn directly from an engineer. While any member of the engineering community can lead the activities, Engineers Canada encourages the participation of women in particular because of the lasting impact that female role models can have on girls choosing to pursue engineering careers.
Anyone interested in using the crest can confirm conditions of use and order required quantities through the online order process.
Future City Competition
The annual Future City Competition sees grades 6, 7, and 8 students research, design, and build cities of the future that showcase an engineered solution to a sustainability issue. The Future City program integrates the engineering design process directly into the curriculum and connects students and teachers with a member of the engineering community as their mentor.
One of the goals of this program is to make engineering concepts widely accessible to young minds, which includes working directly with teachers to implement the competition in their classrooms. Girls, who might not have otherwise had access to hands-on engineering activities, become part of Future City teams through classroom participation and they make up, on average, over half of Future City participants.
Go ENG Girl
Go ENG Girl is a free annual event that was created by the Ontario Network of Women in Engineering (OnWiE) and is run by engineer faculties in over 20 higher education institutions across the country. The program offers girls in grades 7 to 11 the chance to learn more about engineering through a series of fun hands-on activities and exhibits. Female undergraduate students, professional engineers, and professors take part in the day to share their stories of passion, inspiration, and success.
Canadian Engineering Memorial Foundation
The Canadian Engineering Memorial Foundation (CEMF) was established in 1989 following the tragic death of 14 women at École Polytechnique. Engineers Canada is proud to support CEMF, which offers scholarships and awards that encourage young women to choose engineering as a career.