Once again, the Intergia girls are taking part in the activity “An engineer in every school”, organised by AMIT. This year, having added staff, we have managed to cover more schools and we have reached more children in the schools of Híjar, in Teruel and Belver de Cinca and Albalate de Cinca, in Huesca.
During the last week of March, engineer Cristina Gómez (Project Office) and engineering student Raquel Barrena went to the Luis Turón school in Híjar (Teruel) to carry out the activity with children in the 3rd and 4th years of primary school, while engineer Cristina Escriche (R&D) and environmentalist Marta Lapuyade (Environment) went to the Albeos school in Belver de Cinca and Albalate de Cinca (Huesca), also with 3rd and 4th grade students. And it was a great success!
The aim of the activity is to promote the presence of women in technical studies (the so-called STEM professions, Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics). To do this, we teach the boys and girls what science and engineering are, letting them imagine what can be done thanks to these professions and what they would like to do themselves. We make them see that, on many occasions, they themselves are using engineering without knowing it, by solving problems they encounter in their daily lives using new techniques or ways.
We also show them that some everyday objects were the work of inventions made by women. Examples such as Hedy Lamarr, Ada Lovelace, Ángela Ruiz Robles or Maria Telkes.
These women made studies and discoveries that became decisive for the development of some technologies, but there are many more everyday examples of women working in STEM professions. In this way, we talked to them about our profession as engineers and scientists: what we do, what we like the most, how much we had to study to get to where we are now, but that, with effort and will, it can be achieved.
To motivate this desire to learn and for everyone to realise that they are capable of creating with the help of science and engineering and teamwork, we went into action with the practical workshop. First of all, we showed them a hydrogen car, which, with a reversible fuel cell, obtains the gaseous fuel through the electrolysis of water, using photovoltaic energy.
While the hydrogen tank was being charged thanks to the help of the sun, the boys and girls got down to work to assemble their solar car in groups: tightening screws, following the steps, assembling wheels… In the end, we checked that the small solar panel attached to the car worked properly, and that it turned the wheels on the rear axle thanks to a small motor and two gear wheels.
We are sure that after this experience, more than one of the girls and boys is already thinking about becoming an engineer.
See you at next year’s edition!
Do you want to know more?
The activity “An engineer in every school” is an initiative of AMIT-Aragon, the Association of Women Researchers and Technologists. The main objective is to promote the presence of women in technical studies (the so-called STEM professions, Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics), demonstrating what engineering is by the hand of women engineers, and making it clear that “technology is also something for girls”. It is especially aimed at school-age children, to whom the aim is to show the example of women in science and technology in order to encourage STEM vocations in them. This is currently the 8th edition of the activity, which began in 2016 and has received several awards.
The Association of Women Researchers and Technologists (AMIT) is a non-profit association, born in 2001, which aims to defend the interests and equal rights and opportunities of Spanish women researchers and technologists, making the work of women scientists and the results of their work visible.
The AMIT-Aragon node started its activities in 2004 in collaboration with the members of MUCIT (Association of Scientific and Technical Women), and in 2006 it was constituted as a local AMIT node. It currently has 102 members (December 2020).