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University team helps Girl Guides earn engineering badge

Photo of UWAFT team members. (Courtesy of Twitter/@UWAFT)

The University of Waterloo Alternative Fuels Team will help some local Girl Guides earn their engineering badge tonight.

Victoria Osinski with UWAFT tells 570 news about the event.

“UWAFT is going to be hosting around 16 Girl Guides aged around 11 to 12 at the Team Work Space at The University of Waterloo Design Centre. So what we’ll be doing is getting the girls involved in engineering so they can initially get their engineering badge– but also, kind of have a UWAFT spin on it by designing these events tailored to the activities that they need to do, but also to contribute to do what we as UWAFT do as a whole.”

Osinski says this will be the most intimate event that they have done– as it will one team leader for about every five girls. The girls will be able to get the full engineering experience and see what it’s like to be part of the UWAFT team.

“We’ll be participating in about six activities– so first, it’ll be an information session to teach them what an engineer is, who UWAFT is as a team, and the possibilities available to them in the STEM areas in the future. And then we’ll show them our hybrid 2016 Chevrolet Camaro that we are building so they can see the aspects of the vehicle, and will also do things like create chemical reactions and expose to them to engineering as it is usually a field that women are misrepresented in.”

Osinski added that she wishes there were programs and initiatives like this available for young girls when she was growing up.

“It’s really hard when you’re a girl, even in high school, you’re geared more towards fields like arts and communications and things like that. So if they’re exposed and see that other women are also involved in this field early on, maybe they’ll be able to think about that and make those choices earlier on and not disregard it as a passion.”

UWAFT will be hosting another free event on March 14th at the University which will be geared towards high school students.