UF hosts Girls Engaged In Engineering conference

Published: Mar. 11, 2020 at 5:33 PM EDT
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Middle schoolers throughout Florida had a chance to experience first-hand what engineers do for society.

More than 150 students participated in this year's Girls Engaged in Engineering conference at the University of Florida.

“It is really in between middle school, sixth, seventh and eighth grade where we're losing a critical mass of young women who up until then have been very much interested in science, engineering, and mathematics and then there's this fall-off,” said Kimberly Jacobs, Director of Engineering Extension and Outreach. “When we talk to our current students about how come you persisted, what led you to stay in engineering, the resounding theme is, ‘I understood the difference I could make.’"

Faculty members explained how engineering can be used to help water filtration, creating solar-powered technology, and building construction that withstands natural disasters.

“It really is focused on designing sustainable infrastructure and sustainable opportunities moving forward,” Jacobs said.

The Herbert Wertheim College of Engineering is working on the Fifth annual conference for next year.