Women in Engineering program hosts ‘A buffet of engineering possibilities’ open house Nov. 5

Hands-on activities for girls and resources for parents and teachers to explore engineering careers

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More than 500 girls, their parents and teachers participated at the We@RIT Open House. This year’s event takes place Saturday, Nov. 5 in RIT’s Kate Gleason College of Engineering.

Female engineering students from the Kate Gleason College of Engineering at Rochester Institute of Technology will host an open house for prospective students with hands-on activities, demonstrations and experiments. The open house will also feature a variety of resources for parents and teachers, some of the most important influencers for young girls considering engineering careers.

The open house takes place from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. on Saturday, Nov. 5, in James Gleason Hall, RIT’s engineering college. It is free and open to girls in grades 5-9, their parents and middle and high school teachers. Registration is recommended and can be done online.

More than 500 participants came to the 2015 event and more are expected this year for a “buffet of engineering possibilities,” said Kathy Ehrlich-Scheffer, director of RIT’s Women in Engineering Program, host of the event.

“We’ll be able to help girls answer questions about what engineers do, what opportunities are available to them, and most importantly, how does engineering impact society?” she said. More than 125 female engineering students are participating in the open house, representing each of the engineering college’s discipline areas: biomedical, chemical, computer, mechanical, electrical, microelectronic, microsystems and industrial and systems engineering. The students will lead discussions and activities about engineering concepts and how these concepts are applied and why they are important.

Many of the activities can be recreated in classrooms, and information about engineering careers will be available to help continue the conversations in homes and schools after the event.

“Parents and teachers are key to daughters’ and female students’ success. This is a way to demystify STEM and making opportunities and information more accessible,” said Ehrlich-Sheffer.

More information about the open house can be found at the WE@RIT website.