TryEngineering Summer Institute

An exciting ten day, on-campus engineering camp for high school students held at three premier universities across the United States in 2019.


Why Girls Should Go to Summer Engineering Camp

Girls are an important part of the TryEngineering Summer Institute community

When investigating summer camp options for your daughter, it’s important to consider and encourage her interests, especially when she shows interest in science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM).

Studies show that girls lose interest in pursuing math and science fields in middle school. However, research conducted by Girl Scouts shows that 74 percent of high school girls across the United States are interested in the field and subjects of STEM, and that those girls are high achievers who are exposed to a variety of opportunities and support systems.

An engineering summer camp is an ideal environment for nurturing your daughter’s interest in STEM, providing opportunities to participate in hands-on design challenges, meet real-life engineers, and visit engineering workplaces to see what it would really be like to work in engineering.

Here are three basic reasons why girls should enroll in engineering summer camp:

  • Because they can. The stereotype that girls aren’t interested in STEM is just that, a stereotype. Girls need to be exposed to engineering early on so they can make informed decisions when choosing their career paths. “Engineering is not only meant for boys,” says Ana Quezada, a biomedical engineering student at the University of California, Riverside and 2012-2013 International Fellow, in an article published by the American Association of University Women (AAUW). “If you have any doubts, just take a look around you. Everything you see has some engineering in it. I believe girls will love engineering if they will only give it a try. It’s not only focused on cars and boys; it is more about creating new things from scratch just using your imagination.”
  • Because engineering needs more women. Around the world, there’s a lack of women working in the engineering field. In the United States, only 13% of engineers are women. The UK has the lowest percentage of female engineering professionals in Europe, with only 11% of the engineering workforce being female. There’s a major skills shortage in engineering, science, and technology professions overall, and it’s important that we inspire many more young people to take up careers in these crucial areas.
  • Because the next big thing could be made by a girl. New technologies are developed every day, but if only one group of people is responsible for creating solutions, those technologies may not be the best they can be. That’s why diversity in the field of engineering is so important. NASA aerospace engineer Aprille Ericsson explains, “The different perspective that each human being brings forth toward solving problems and creating unique tools is required for us to continue to create awesome projects like Mars rovers, prosthetic limbs, or nano cancer treatments.”

Encourage your daughter to pursue her engineering dreams. Share with her IEEE’s free infographic highlighting exciting engineering careers and enroll her in the TryEngineering Summer Institute today.

Survey Shows Girls Can Thrive in Tech, Even When Their Parents Aren’t Tech Savvy

TryEngineering Summer Institute is a great option to encourage girls to consider STEM careersJust because you don’t consider yourself tech savvy, that doesn’t mean that your daughter won’t thrive in the technology field. A recent survey conducted by TechGirlz, in partnership with Drexel University’s LeBow College of Business, offers a deeper understanding of the role parents play in their daughters’ engagement in technology. The fourth annual survey polled more than 1,000 participants — girls and parents — exploring the influences and relationships with technology overall for both groups.

The survey found that girls can thrive in technology, even when their parents aren’t tech savvy. They’re at least as interested in technology as those whose families do consider themselves tech savvy. Of families where parents report a low affinity with technology, 86 percent of girls are excited about the subject. And where parents report a high affinity with technology, 88 percent of girls are excited about it.

TryEngineering Summer Institute is a great option to encourage girls to consider STEM careersOther findings include:

  • 86 percent of girls felt encouraged in their interest in technology by their parents.
  • Girls felt slightly more supported by their fathers (94 percent) than their mothers (85 percent).
  • 100 percent of girls from Hispanic families felt encouraged by their parents to learn about tech, compared to 92 percent from black families, 87 percent from white families, and 85 percent from Asian families.
  • 47 percent of girls say friendship drives their interest in tech compared to only 10 percent for career potential.
  • 33 percent of parents point to career potential as the primary motivator for tech learning.
  • 100 percent of girls in sixth grade expressed interest in tech compared to 88 percent of girls in eighth grade.

TryEngineering Summer Institute is a great option to encourage girls to consider STEM careers“This survey shows that, contrary to popular belief, girls are interested in tech, and that they will seek out instruction regardless of their parents’ affinity with technology,” says TechGirlz founder and CEO Tracey Welson-Rossman. “It should reassure parents they can set their daughters on the path to a rewarding, empowering career in tech with support and encouragement, even if they do not understand the subject matter themselves.”

The survey was the first to match responses from girls and parents to learn specifically about parents’ role in their daughters’ interest in technology.

“Most of the information available about relationships among parents, children and STEM is based on anecdotal evidence,” says Murugan Anandarajan, Ph.D., professor of management information systems at Drexel University’s LeBow College of Business. “Using past research models, we designed one of the first empirical studies to bring validity to this important topic. The results represent an initial step toward understanding how girls’ perceptions of technology can be influenced and shaped within their home environments. Our findings begin a powerful conversation for parents, showing that, regardless of their relationship with technology, they can develop strategies to promote and encourage girls’ technology interests at a young age.”

Encouraging Girls to Pursue Tech

TryEngineering Summer Institute is a great option to encourage girls to consider STEM careersIn the United Kingdom, research conducted by PwC found that women account for only 15 percent of employees in STEM fields. Unfortunately, there are few signs that this number will increase without extra action, as only 15.8 percent of undergraduates in STEM fields are women.

So how can parents take extra action? By encouraging their daughters to consider pursuing technology, whether they themselves are tech-savvy or not. There are programs that can help, including Introduce a Girl to Engineering Day (Girl Day), a growing movement to inspire girls’ futures by encouraging them to explore this exciting and rewarding career so they learn they have a place in engineering a better world.

Parents can also encourage their daughters to consider the TryEngineering Summer Institute, a two week program during which teens explore the field of engineering, gaining hands-on experience and seeing and hearing from engineers first hand. It’s perfect for girls who already have a connection with technology, as well as those just thinking of trying it out for the first time. Learn about the 2019 Summer Institute program and register today!