Robots and rockets aren't just for boys; register now for Engineering a Future 2008

Girls who wonder how robots and rockets work just might be well on their way to becoming engineers who help design such machinery and impact the world. And those are just the girls who should sign up for Engineering a Future 2008.

It's time for 5 th and 6 th grade girls to register for the 6 th annual EAF event that has attracted hundreds of area participants interested in becoming problem solvers and creative thinkers. This year's event will be held on Saturday, Feb. 23, from 8:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. at Tennessee Tech University.

"Girls at this age who show even a glimmer of interest in science find this workshop encouraging and exciting," said Patty Cowan, EAF co-chairperson and member of the Upper Cumberland Section of the Society of Women Engineers. "It's a great place to see what piques their interests and involvement. I've been an engineer my whole life, and I know this is a way to build on the attention and the enthusiasm these young women possess."

Professional engineers, as well as TTU engineering faculty members, will lead team activities. Dozens of engineering and education student volunteers will guide small groups of girls in the hands-on learning workshop designed to foster interest in science and engineering education and careers.

"We are really excited about the tremendous level of involvement this year from the local SWE chapter and from TTU's student chapter," said Cowan.

A free adult workshop will also be offered from 8:30 to 10:30 a.m. to introduce parents, teachers and counselors to the possibilities an engineering profession provides. Sign-in will take place in TTU's Memorial Gym the day of the event.

"The adult workshop, lead by TTU's Chemical Engineering Chairperson Pedro Arce, will provide examples of how to encourage young women to aspire to careers in science and engineering and how to help them achieve their goals," said Cowan.

The $12 fee for girls includes registration, lunch, T-shirt and all activities.

Payment and registration must be received no later than Feb. 1. Attendance is limited to 150 participants. There will be no on-site registration. To register, visit www.tntech.edu/isee or call 931-372-3465.

Engineering a Future 2008 is being sponsored by TTU's College of Engineering, College of Education, Office of Admissions and the Oakley STEM Center; the Tennessee Space Grant Consortium; the Girl Scout Council of Cumberland Valley; Cummins Filtration; the Society of Women Engineers; and the American Association of University Women.