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Women, Getting It Built

Barbie demonstrated real smarts by joining the ranks of engineers this year. Welcoming her and the many young women needed to advance America's technology and innovation, eGFI this week highlights several programs for girls, reprises the history of a female engineering pioneer, and offers a fun bridge construction lesson.

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Students grades 5-12 assume the role of civil engineers in constructing a model suspension bridge. They learn about other types of spans -- including arch, girder, truss, and cantilever -- and of the careful balance of compression and tension required in bridge building.

More than 100 years ago, a woman oversaw the construction of the Brooklyn Bridge; the iconic span is well known - but Emily Roebling less so. Joining the March 2010 Women's History project to "write women back into history," eGFI brings her dramatic story to the fore.

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When high school students graduate, they should be ready to enter college or the workforce, but too few will have the skills and knowledge necessary to make those transitions. A recent report commissioned by the National High School Center that found that the problems begin before pupils enter high school.

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Bridges continue to be a big draw for young aspiring engineers, including Kristen Scudder, one of the students featured on our eGFI site. Watch the video in which she describes her involvement with the design, structural, and creative aspects of civil engineering.

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The No Boundaries competition encourages students in STEM careers. Prizes include cash and a VIP NASA experience for team projects.

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eGFI: News For Teachers

Explore the eGFI website with your students

Introduce your students to engineering with our interactive cards. Each card illustrates a particular discipline and includes the following:

  • Did you know? (a fun factoid)
  • Make a difference (explains how this type of engineer makes a difference in the world)
  • Where do they work? (Industries, companies, organizations, and the type of work involved)
  • Meet one (meet a real engineer)

Ask them to pick their favorite and tell you why.

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© 2010 American Society for Engineering Education (ASEE)
1818 N Street, N.W., Suite 600
Washington, DC 20036-2479