An Attractive Engineering Option for Girls

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Conference Proceeding

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When choosing a career in scientific fields, girls lend to gravitate toward professions that help humanity; thus, the fields of health and medicine are widely chosen by women. To attract young women to the area of engineering, girls need to be shown how engineering principles can be applied to solve health problems, thereby improving people's lives. The field of biomedical engineering, an engineering approach toward solving medical problems, is responsible for new medical instruments, diagnostic equipment, imaging technologies, artificial organs, implants, and prosthetics. Since 1981, NJIT has offered the Women In Engineering & Technology (WEIT)-FEMME program. This program, geared toward academically talented 4th through 9th grade girls, encourage them to pursue careers in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) fields. A thematic unit introduces the students to a variety of engineering disciplines, while enriching their skills and increasing their self-efficacy in STEM areas. In 2001, Biomedical Engineering became the newest addition to the WIET Initiative. The academic curriculum integrates engineering principles with biomedical science, and introduces girls to the role of engineers as "problem-solvers and helpers".

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