Today’s world is faced by major challenges; challenges science and technology can help solve when engineers do their magic. But less than 20% of engineering students and only 7% of professional engineers are female. This is a major problem!
Joining forces, Hydro One, Western University, University of Waterloo, Ryerson University, and the University of Ontario Institute of Technology started tackling this gap with the help of a variety of school boards, individual teachers, and most important, high school girls to hear how engineering could be a choice that all girls could imagine for themselves. Through their work, WEMADEIT was born as an initiative that showcased engineering as a career where individuals could make a difference together! One of the major insights from this initiative was that teachers are a huge influencer when it comes to introducing STEM to students.
Hearing this, Western and Waterloo partnered with educators, engineers, and students across Ontario to create activities that teachers could use in their classroom. These activities are engineering in nature, but all link to science with numerous cross-curricular opportunities. The WEMADEIT curriculum is currently geared toward Grade 7/8 teachers as this was identified as a crucial period of time for students on making decisions about careers; however, many have found that the activities can span to other grades. The teachers that tried these activities at the STAO conference this year really enjoyed the activities and saw the immediate connections for their classrooms. All the resources are FREE and we encourage everyone to check them out at: http://wemadeit.ca/teachers/
Grade 7/8 – STEM Education, design & build projects, inquiry learning
Joanne Colling, Western University – Engineering (WEMADEIT)