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Talking to high school girls about engineering National Academy of Engineering/ American Association of Engineering Societies Convocation May 7, 2007 Suzanne Jenniches, Co-PI, 2005 AAES Chair Extraordinary Women Engineers Project Phase one

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Talking to high school girls about engineering

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Talking to high school girls about engineering

National Academy of Engineering/

American Association of Engineering Societies Convocation

May 7, 2007

Suzanne Jenniches, Co-PI, 2005 AAES Chair

Extraordinary Women Engineers Project


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Phase one

In 2004, fifty-five engineering associations, universities and corporations, asked:

Why are academically-prepared high school girls not choosing engineering?

Photo Credit: Tom Coughlin, Nicaragua Summer Exchange 2007

NAE/AAES Convocation – May 7, 2007Slide 1 of 10


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Disconnect

Current messaging about engineering is not aligned with key motivators for students. Neither the emphasis on “math and science” nor the notion of “a challenge” is relevant for high school girls.

From Extraordinary Women Engineers Project research study of academically prepared high school girls

NAE/AAES Convocation – May 7, 2007 Slide 2 of 10


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Phase two: Developing relevant messages

  • January 2007 Message Testing

    • Survey of 440 college bound students (girls and boys) between ages 14-18

    • 330 girls & 110 boys

    • Statistically representative of target population

    • Margin of error +/- 5.4%

NAE/AAES Convocation – May 7, 2007 Slide 3 of 10


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Relevant messages for high school girls

New Messages Appeal to Girls

Live your life, love what you do82%

Creativity has its rewards74%

Make a world of difference72%

Create possibilities71%

Tags

Engineer Your Life:

Dream Big, Love What You Do74%

DYL

Design Your Life. Engineering Your Future 64%

NAE/AAES Convocation – May 7, 2007 Slide 4 of 10


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Is engineering a good career choice?

  • The survey also found:

    • 29% of girls and 51% of boys say it would be a good or very good profession for someone like them

    • Engineering rankslast on professions tested behind

      teacher, doctor, lawyer, and business

    • 41% of non-white girls are more likely thanwhite girls (25%) to say engineering is a good career

NAE/AAES Convocation – May 7, 2007 Slide 5 of 10


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Career exploration starts at home

  • Moms critical to students’ perceptions of careers

    69% of girls and 67% of boys say they have spoken with their moms “a lot” about their future careers

  • Girls aretwice as likely to speak with their fathers (62%) than boys (32%)

  • Boysare twice as likely to speak about careers with female friends than with male friends.

NAE/AAES Convocation – May 7, 2007 Slide 6 of 10


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Testing new resources

NAE/AAES Convocation – May 7, 2007 Slide 7 of 10


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New resources, new messages

  • For College Bound Girls

    • Web site hosted by NAE

    • Booth college fairs across the country

    • Postcard mailed to every girl who scores over 55 on PSAT

  • For Parents and Educators

    • Web site hosted by NAE

    • Training at national, regional, state NACAC conferences

    • Brochures and posters

  • For Engineers

  • - Web site hosted by NAE

    • Online training site

NAE/AAES Convocation – May 7, 2007 Slide 8 of 10


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Join the coalition

  • Deliver unified and relevant messages about engineering

  • Evaluate your programs and messages against the research

  • Receive training on how to effectively implement these messages in your programming

  • Promote the project and its resources to members of your community

NAE/AAES Convocation – May 7, 2007 Slide 9 of 10


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Join the coalition

  • Receive free turnkey resources

    • Posters and Brochures

  • Connect your organization and your members to the

    school counselor community

  • Stay connected with the project through regular

    electronic updates

    • Link to the project guest book (www.engineergirl.org)

To join send an email to:

Engineeringwomen@eweek.org

NAE/AAES Convocation – May 7, 2007 Slide 10 of 10


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