Women have what it takes to succeed in engineering
Madeline says it’s a misconception that men have a greater disposition for engineering than women. “Women are problem solvers,” she says.
“So when we go into schools we give them problems to solve. For example, in our biomimicry session (technology inspired by nature), we give them waterproof paper, water and a few tools and encourage them to come up with real-world problems they can solve with these bits and pieces.
“They break up into groups and invariably come back with great solutions to global problems, such as sheltering homeless people and collecting water in drought areas.”
In another activity, the students are challenged to run a mine. “They are given ore (actually, a box full of magnetic tiles) and encouraged to operate the mine safely and productively,” says Madeline.
“These kinds of fun activities are designed for girls to understand they have the ability to be miners of the future. It’s about developing transferrable skills of problem solving, critical thinking, and teamwork, reassuring them that they’re fully equipped to do the job.”