Reflecting on 20 years of the attracting Women into engineering (AWE) workshop

Miss Mahaa Mayeesha Ahmed, Melanie Basantis, Kauser Jahan

    Research output: Contribution to journalConference articlepeer-review


    Women have become increasingly visible in business, health professions, and law, yet they are still underrepresented in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) professions. According to the U.S. Department of Commerce's 2017 Women in STEM Update, women constituted 47% of all U.S. jobs in 2015 but held only 24% of STEM jobs. The gender disparity in STEM is caused in part by the lack of exposure girls have to STEM education during formative K-8 years as well as the lack of women role models present in these fields. To encourage more girls in STEM, the Attracting Women into Engineering (AWE) Workshop was founded in 1998. The AWE Workshop is a summer program that strives to introduce middle school girls to engineering careers via one-day sessions. Participants have the opportunity to interact with women faculty members and undergraduate/graduate students during hands-on engineering experiments while also learning about various engineering disciplines. Our mission is to negate preconceived stereotypes about engineering, to cultivate girls' interest in STEM, to expose girls to the diverse career paths that engineers can pursue, and to foster an environment of intellectual growth, self-esteem, and empowerment. The workshop celebrated its twentieth anniversary in summer 2018. Here, a reflection on the lessons learned from running the program for the past 20 years is provided. The AWE Workshop is impactful in young girls' exploration of not only engineering but also other STEM fields.

    Original languageEnglish (US)
    JournalASEE Annual Conference and Exposition, Conference Proceedings
    StatePublished - Jun 15 2019
    Event126th ASEE Annual Conference and Exposition: Charged Up for the Next 125 Years, ASEE 2019 - Tampa, United States
    Duration: Jun 15 2019Jun 19 2019

    All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

    • Engineering(all)


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