Inspiring young women to pursue STEM

 

Jerry Pfohl painting of Vilas Bridge in Bellows Falls. This painting was used as the model for the arch bridge built by the Young Women in Engineering Workshop. Photo provided
Jerry Pfohl painting of Vilas Bridge in Bellows Falls. This painting was used as the model for the arch bridge built by the Young Women in Engineering Workshop. Photo provided

 

CLAREMONT, N.H. – On Oct. 18, Young Women in Engineering, a local program to inspire the pursuit of STEM, had a day of exciting hands-on engineering and building workshops that were taught by young women engineers, architects, scientists and specialists. The workshops included Computer Animation, Mechanical and Structural Engineering, Plasma Cutting, Marine Engineering, Bioengineering.

One hundred and ten girls from grades 7 -10 came from all over the region to discover, explore and participate in the workshops.

The young women that participated in the Mechanical and Structural Engineering workshop were able to have hands-on experience in arch construction with the help of Neil Daniels Construction Engineers, a bridge and construction firm from Ascutney, Vt. During the workshop, they had built an 11-foot, 7000lb concrete arch and a smaller 6-foot, 2000lb arch with students doing a lot of the work.

Caroll Concretes came with a huge rotating concrete truck and instructed the girls on how to pour into the wood form, and had the young women set in the iron reinforcing bars and tie them together with special wire ties.

The students also hand mixed 10 bags of concrete, donated by Lavalleys, to pour into their smaller forms.

In November, after the concrete has cured, the students will come return to remove all the wooden forms and arrange the arches into a bridge and install the finishing touches.

The arches will be put on a trailer that the Technology welding students will repair. The trailer will be driven to selected schools in Ludlow, Sunapee, Keene, Brattleboro, Bellows Falls, Walpole, Charlestown and Claremont to showcase the Young Women in Engineering program. Boats, Bio-medical and other examples will be showcased as well.

Watch a brief interview on the work of Young Women in Engineering visit:

 

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