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EDUCATION: More women should become engineers

Letter by Margaret Buchanan, Gig Harbor on May 26, 2010 at 2:45 pm with 3 Comments »
May 26, 2010 2:45 pm

Re: “We need to inspire more students to love math, science” (Your Voice, 5-25).

Congratulations to Anna Laura Kastama on her robotics achievements. I hope she continues her interest in science, technology, engineering and math.

In high school, I scored higher on the English SAT than the math, but I became an engineer because my dad was an engineer and because my bossy older sister told me to. I was one of three female mechanical engineers in my graduating class at the University of Texas 30 years ago.

I would have thought that there would be many more female engineers by now, but they’re still fairly rare; only about 20 percent of engineering students are women.

Women can make great engineers. I worked as a test engineer for five years before becoming a domestic engineer. If there were more teachers with math/science backgrounds, we might have more students with an interest in engineering.

I believe an engineering degree prepares students for the real world better than a liberal arts degree; you don’t just learn math, you learn to become a problem solver.

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  1. newscrap says:

    “If there were more teachers with math/science background, we might have more students with an interest in engineering”. Well,ah, just what kind of background DO you think the math and science teachers in high schools have? Drama?

  2. Copper2Steel says:

    I hope your bossy older sister is also an engineer! :-)

  3. Sexist preamble, gender should not be a prerequisite for engineering, math or more importantly…music which IS foundational to both (proportion, trigonometry, ratio etc.) it’s all in how AND why the subjects are taught. Start teaching like Aristotle and we’ll start seeing some Alexanders, but you’ve got to have the guts to stand up against the unions and (business-as-usual-don’t-rock-the-boat) administrations. The teachers have their hands tied, they could provide infinitely better innovation but they are restrained by political (correctness) ineptness.

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