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Press Release

Chriss Swaney

For immediate release:
July 10, 2003

Carnegie Mellon Faculty Bridge Gender Gap for Girls By Offering Hands-On Workshop to Boost Interest in Engineering

PITTSBURGH—More than 40 female high school students from a half dozen Pittsburgh area schools will showcase their technical design skills at 1:30 p.m., Friday, July 11, at Carnegie Mellon University. The students, under the supervision of Carnegie Mellon Engineering faculty, have built miniature cars, intricate road sensors and a racetrack to simulate the skill sets used by engineers at job sites throughout the world. The students' handmade cars, fueled by simple chemical reactions, will traverse a course replete with computer sensors and tiny gates to challenge the vehicle's design and navigational prowess.

The week-long workshop, also sponsored by the Society of Women Engineers, exposes girls ages 13-18 to a range of engineering professions-from chemical and mechanical engineering to electrical and computer engineering, civil engineering and materials science. The percentage of women in the tech work force dropped to 34.9 percent in 2002 from a high of 41 percent in 1996, according to the Information Technology Association of America. Women make up about 47 percent of the U.S. work force, but earned just 22 percent of engineering and computer science undergraduate degrees, the association said.

WHEN: 1:30 p.m., Friday, July 11

WHERE: Carnegie Mellon University/Porter Hall/Room 107E


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