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Engineering: It Isn't 'Just for Boys' Anymore

June 13, 2012

DES MOINES, Iowa - Engineering used to be a career field that appealed mostly to boys - but that's changing. Des Moines Area Community College, Iowa State University and Dowling Catholic High School are co-sponsoring a three-day engineering camp - for girls only.

Camp coordinator Dan Malloy says girls will get hands-on experience with projects such as building a robot. He says a need for the engineering camp became evident because only a small percentage of girls attend Dowling's engineering classes.

"We did some research into it nationally what the numbers were in college and junior colleges, and again, our numbers reflected what they had - which is about 18 percent."

Malloy says this is the first time they have offered a girls-only engineering camp and the interest level has been surprising.

"Our goal was to have 80 students; we have over 90 signed up right now. We do have room for about six students."

He says girls are coming from across the state to attend the camp, and a few are from places like California and Colorado. They'll spend the last day of camp exploring the world of engineering at ISU's Virtual Reality Applications Center.

More information is online at

Dick Layman, Public News Service - IA