Engineering remains one of the undergraduate majors with the smallest percentage of women in the United States. The percentage of women engineers in the workplace is even smaller. Inspire! is a collection of three educational videos with an accompanying discussion guide that will empower middle school and early high school girls to overcome obstacles facing girls and women in STEM fields, such as a lack of confidence and discouragement from others.
Each video features inspiring, real stories told by accomplished women engineers that contextualize and examine hurdles that girls and young women may face in the engineering field and offer strategies to overcome those hurdles. As we hear these stories, we see trailblazing women engineers serving as mentors and role models for the next generation of girls, as they embrace the excitement of an engineering education within the context of a summer camp at Clarkson University, a nationally recognized technological university with locations in Potsdam, Schenectady and Beacon, New York.
The videos, and the accompanying discussion guide, acknowledge structural challenges while encouraging middle school and early high school girls (at a time when their interest and confidence in the STEM fields often decreases) to develop resilience and understand potential obstacles they may face during their education and careers. The result is uplifting, relatable, authentic educational content that offers meaningful strategies to eliminate barriers for girls and women to enter and persist in engineering and related fields.