An “iCan! Girls In Engineering” camp, sponsored by Mississippi Power for high school girls interested in learning about STEM careers, provided valuable educational opportunities Tuesday at Pearl River Community College in Poplarville.
The camp features hands-on experiences in chemical, civil, electrical, industrial and mechanical engineering. It was a big hit for both campers and instructors, just like a similar “iCan!” event in the spring at Forest High School.
Megan Ware, an engineer in Laurel, recalls being overwhelmed when she was in high school and trying to decide on a major.
“I was just there a couple of years ago, so I know how difficult and important these decisions are,” Ware said. “These students are getting a first-hand opportunity to speak to a female engineer. Even if the girls don’t want to pursue engineering, we talk with them about college in general and other great majors.”
Attendees learned some introductory information about engineering but also had the chance to apply some knowledge by building a high-heel shoe, working on circuits and other exercises.
Sarah Odom, Customer Service Supervisor in Hattiesburg, said she considers it a “serious responsibility” to speak with students who will be making many crucial choices in the next few years.
“This is a wonderful event for the students, but it might also lead to the hiring of qualified engineers in the future,” Odom said. “When I graduated high school, very few women considered engineering as a career path. It’s exciting to share the opportunities that are now available in the workplace and to broaden the horizons of these students.”
The day-long event closed with the always popular “Runway Show,” where teams model the footwear they designed and built in a fashion show.