By Sarrah Peters
Alabama Power held an iCan Girls in Engineering Conference at Glencoe Middle School on Thursday, July 23.
This is the conference’s second year in Etowah County. About 90 girls from Etowah County middle schools were chosen by school administrators based on math and science aptitude. About 30 students attended the event, representing almost every school in the county. The students will be starting as freshmen in high school next year.
The iCan conference is sponsored by a team of Alabama Power/Southern Company female engineers who use fun engineering projects to encourage girls to consider engineering in the future.
The various engineering projects focused on different fields within engineering.
For electrical engineering the girls built burglar alarms for their bedrooms doors. For mechanical engineering, they created a reaching grabber, similar to ones used to pick up trash. For civil engineering, the students built functioning shoes. For chemical engineering, the girls created their own lip gloss.
While having fun with the projects, the students learned and applied engineering concepts. They used statics and dynamics, trigonometry and basic physics to learn about the scissor mechanism on the reachers they made. This helped the girls understand how the mechanisms worked.
Lunch was provided for the girls during the conference.
“iCan focuses on making young girls aware, and excited about, the field of engineering and the opportunities that come with a degree in engineering. Engineering is a field that most girls never consider but by attending iCan their eyes are opened to new possibilities.,” said Thacker.
According to Thacker, the under representation of females in the industry gives women that go into the field an advantage for management positions.