LIFT, Girl Scouts offer engineering exploration to grades 8-12

DETROIT—Officials at LIFT, the Detroit-based, Department of Defense-supported national manufacturing innovation institute, and the Girl Scouts of Southeastern Michigan announced that they have launched a LIFT advanced manufacturing initiative aimed at encouraging local Girl Scouts in grades 8-12 to explore careers in advanced manufacturing and engineering.

“Partnering with LIFT will provide our girls with a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to learn from a national manufacturing innovation institute,” said Deputy Chief Program Officer Tiffiny Griffin at Girl Scouts of Southeastern Michigan.

The Girl Scouts’ Think Like an Engineer Journey, an extended engagement experience, consists of three hands-on design and engineering challenges and a Take Action project– also called service learning– to address the root of a particular issue relating to engineering to create a lasting effect. Upon conclusion of the program, girls will receive a limited-edition LIFT patch for their uniforms.

The Girl Scouts will discuss advanced manufacturing career options with LIFT staff and industry members; an important dialogue as women are underrepresented in STEM careers. According to a 2018 National Girls Collaborative Project, women make up 47% of the overall workforce, but only 28% of the science and engineering workforce.

“The skills gap in advanced manufacturing is widening, but it is particularly out of balance when looking at the gender gap,” said Nigel Francis, LIFT CEO and Executive Director. “By encouraging Girl Scouts to explore science and math early in their lives, we hope more women will venture down these educational and career paths.”

The engineering challenges include:

  • Newton Laws activity kit: Girl Scouts will be asked to build a collision car and adjust it to hold an egg that does not break when it goes down a ramp and hits a solid wall.
  • Scouts will select one of the following Newton’s Laws to focus on and improve upon a base engineering model considering:
    • Inertia
    • Momentum
    • Kinetic and Potential Energy
  • Scouts will research and develop a poster related to females in the military.

To begin your LIFT Patch Journey, click here.

LIFT, founded as Lightweight Innovations for Tomorrow and operated by the American Lightweight Materials Manufacturing Innovation Institute, is the Detroit-based, public-private partnership between the Department of Defense, industry and academia, committed to the development and deployment of advanced manufacturing technologies, and implementing talent development initiatives to better prepare the workforce today and in the future. LIFT funded in part by the Department of Defense with management through the Office of Naval Research. Visit www.lift.technology to learn more.

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