Tech summit gives middle school girls hands-on engineering experience
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WILMINGTON -- More than 60 middle school girls competed during the 2012 Girls in Technology Summit. Engineers from GE Hitachi Nuclear Energy helped them with hands-on projects aimed to sharpen their problem solving skills.
"We are building a rubber band car and we are given a certain amount of materials. And there is a table of extra materials that we use and we have to power the car with the rubber band," said eighth-grader Greer Taylor, who along with fellow middle school girls, is brainstorming ways to build a car from everyday office materials.
Teamwork and creativity are just a few of the lessons the nuclear engineers hope the girls take away from the day.
"It's just a way to kind of introduce the girls to some of the engineering concepts like energy or Newton's law. It's just a really fun way to try to get some hands-on experience with the different types of engineering concepts," said IT program manager Ashley Hernandez.
Ten girls were selected by their teachers from six middle schools in New Hanover County to attend the one-day workshop.
"It's a good thing to learn to work with new people and I think it's just fun to know more people and see new faces," Taylor said.
"I'm a big technology person. I love science. It's like my favorite subject. I do really good in science," said eighth-grader Kiara Dinkins.
Many of the girls said learning new engineering principles has steered them towards a career in a similar field someday in the future.
"I've always thought of doing something like being a scientist or something. I've always thought that was really neat and that would be a really cool job to have," said Taylor.
This was the fifth annual Girls in Technology Summit.