Columbia Gas of Pennsylvania hosted more than 100 third through fifth grade girls, from nearly 30 different schools throughout Western Pennsylvania, at its 2nd Annual Introduce a Girl to Engineering Day. During the fun-filled, hands-on event, the young women had an opportunity to create their own science project, learn about erosion, 811 Call Before You Dig, natural gas safety and the many different career opportunities available at a local utility.
"For the science project, girls were divided into teams and tasked with using engineering principles – construction technique, correct measurement, accurate budgeting, pre-planning, design execution and stress testing – to build a bridge out of various craft supplies and adhesives in approximately an hour," said Columbia Gas Field Engineer Brian Moeller. "Columbia Gas leadership then assisted in evaluating four different criteria – functionality, best design, teamwork and creativity."
The event was entirely planned and led by Columbia Gas employees and engineers. Columbia Gas of Pennsylvania employs approximately 79 full-time engineers, of various backgrounds – civil, mechanical, chemical, petroleum, industrial, electrical and environmental. Of those engineers, approximately 37% are female, more than twice the industry average
"We wanted the girls to walk away from the day with a real-life introduction to not only engineering, but the many career opportunities available to both men and women in our local communities," said Columbia Gas President Mike Huwar. "At Columbia Gas we are dedicated to hiring, training and retaining the very best employees, with expertise in both skilled trades and as business professionals, to provide top-tier safety and satisfaction to our customers."
"The event was a unique opportunity for the young girls to apply STEM principles through experiential learning," said Junior Achievement of Western Pennsylvania Vice President Bill Lucas. Columbia Gas of Pennsylvania partnered with the local Junior Achievement non-profit to extend invitations to the event. "We believe programs like Introduce a Girl to Engineering Day align with the mission of Junior Achievement – to foster work-readiness, inspiring and preparing young people to succeed," concluded Lucas.
For more information about Columbia Gas of Pennsylvania’s community outreach and support, please visit www.ColumbiaGasPA.com/givingback.