The Society of Women Engineers (SWE), with funding from the ExxonMobil Foundation and in partnership with Girls Scouts of the USA, WGBH’s Design Squad, and Techbridge, held the seventh annual Invent It. Build It. (IIBI) in October 2017. The event took place at the SWE annual conference in Philadelphia, PA. Participants included 412 middle school girls, 96 high school girls, plus 148 of their parents/guardians and educators.
One of the primary goals of SWE outreach activities is to expose girls to engineering, thereby increasing their awareness of what an engineer is. Through hands-on activities, SWE aims to help increase girls’ confidence in engineering-related skills. At the 2017 Invent It. Build It., middle school participants were asked if they knew what an engineer did. As in past years, the difference between reported engineering knowledge before and after the event was statistically significant.
Middle school girls were also asked about their level of confidence in certain engineering-related areas, including problem solving, building, and designing.