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Stoneleigh students take on engineering

GREENFIELD — What better way to introduce a teenage girl to the possibility of an engineering career, than by letting her talk to women engineers from her own school?

On Thursday, Stoneleigh-Burnham School students will tackle engineering challenges on the solar system and NASA, on “green design” and simple machines. And then the entire student body will work on one project: building a balloon nanotechnology model during their lunchtime.

Thursday happens to be “Introduce a Girl to Engineering Day,” and it’s part of the school’s National Engineers Week celebration, from now through Friday. On Thursday, students will step away from regular classes to spend the day with hands-on engineering challenges.

The goal, says Head of School Sally Mixsell, is to bring attention to engineering as a collaborative and creative process that makes a difference in our lives.

“Setting aside a whole school day to expose girls to the world of possibilities in engineering will underscore the idea that they can be engineers who change the world,” she said.

Science teacher Taylor Williams said this program meshes with the school’s curriculum in science, technology, engineering, art and math — an initiative that the school calls “STEaM.”

“We hope to drive our STEaM initiative forward, but also allow the girls to enjoy the hands-on engineering challenges,” she said. “We want our students to have the confidence and voice to succeed in any field. Committing this day to engineering hopefully opens up more doors for their future success.”

The school was founded in 1869 and has been preparing girls in Grades 7 through 12 for college and beyond.

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