Sixty-one Edgewood Middle School girls participated in the seventh “Forget Princess, I want to be an Engineer” event Thursday.
Students took part in a hands-on engineering challenge to take two eggs, put them in a wooden car and have them go down a ramp and hit a block without cracking the eggs.
The students were able to work with 17 mentors on the challenge. If the eggs did not break, the team got a 3D-printed “sacred unicorn.”
Project Lead The Way teacher Abbi Richcreek gave directions to students, which included they could not glue the eggs to the car and they could not alter the speed of the car.
Girls can participate in the event one time, but students who participated in last year’s event helped with this year’s challenge.
This year, more girls wanted to participate and Richcreek had to cut off registration for the event. Interest in helping out from the students who participated in last year’s event also increased, as Richcreek said she ended up with 11 helpers. She thinks the interest has gone up this year because the event has become a tradition at Edgewood.
“I think it’s great,” she said. Since Edgewood is now a STEM-accredited school, the event showcases what the school does best.
Selom Kugbe, Zimmer Biomet, has been a mentor for the event for about five years. She said she enjoys seeing how students each year think differently about the task in front of them.
She said she wasn’t exposed early on to engineering, but she enjoyed it in college.
She told students if they haven’t figured out what they want to do with their lives, to keep looking and they’ll find something.
Casey Harman, RQM+, said the great thing about engineering is if an idea doesn’t work, you can try a different solution to the problem.
She said the engineering field needs more girls interested in going into the field, as she’s sick of sitting in meetings with all boys.
Hanna Ogden (C) helps a group of Edgewood Middle School students with a hands-on event Thursday. Photo by Jackie Gorski, Times-Union