Girls follow their interest in engineering

Girls follow their interest in engineering

Girls Exploring Engineering was previously an Academy class taught by engineering systems teacher Marty Rothwell. However, due to legal issues, it was registered as a club last year.


“Fairfax County said that we are not allowed to have single-sex classes, so we had to disband it, even though it was extremely successful,” Rothwell said. “We would normally have 25 females in a class.”


Last year, the club had between 25 to 30 members. It becomes an official club this year. Club members meet once every other week in the lecture hall. The club participates in many contests and local events such as Engineering Week and engineering-specific college visits. Additionally, they mentor elementary students in math and science classes while showing them what engineering is like.


“We put together dinners three times a year in which we invite female engineers so that

members of the club can talk to them and ask them questions about what they do,” junior and club vice president Katherine Henriquez said. “This way, they can be more informed about the many different fields of engineering.”


The club officers also regularly invite college students with engineering majors to speak at club meetings about their experiences.


“I want to pursue engineering as a career, so this is the perfect way to build a strong foundation for my future,” senior and club president Pooja Trivedi said. “I love when other people share and appreciate my interests. Seeing my peers enjoy the events and activities makes me really happy [and] it keeps me wanting to do more.”


The club provides a relaxing, stress-free environment for female students who are interested in engineering, a career path that is usually dominated by men.


“I love being a part of Girls Exploring Engineering because it is very important to me as the Career Experience Specialist that students get to explore their passions for future career opportunities,” Academy Career Experience Specialist and club sponsor Bonnie Wannett said. “Females are critically underrepresented in the engineering fields so it is very important for me to connect young women to female professionals in the field.”
The first Girls Exploring Engineering meeting will be held on Thursday, Nov. 5 from 6 to 8 p.m. in the lecture hall.