More Oregonl girls pursue engineering

More Oregonl girls pursue engineering

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by Erica Heartquist

Bio | Email | Follow: @EricaHeartquist

kgw.com

Posted on May 29, 2010 at 8:24 AM

Updated Sunday, May 30 at 7:52 AM

SHERWOOD -- Three girls at Sherwood High were recognized recently by the National Center for Women and Information echnology and the school plans on creating a class next year specifically to guide women into engineering fields.

"Next year, I'm going to Oregon State University and I plan on majoring in civil engineering," said senior, Britney Johnson a recipient of the honor.

The other two were juniors Emma Knight and McKenzie Griffin.

"Ten years ago, you wouldn't even have an engineering class, McKenzie said. "Now there's an engineering class and there's going to be more and more girls interested in it. I think that [we] can do anything that guys can do."

True enough. Knight was on a school team that designed and built "Scorpion," a robot.

"I love building robots," she said, "I think it would be cool to pursue it in a larger area."

The engineering class to be offered next year, a first for the district, has already drawn the interest of over 100 girls at Sherwood High.

The women's information and technology group has also recognized three girls at Tualatin High School.

"We're the new generation. We just want to be involved in engineering," said senior, Anu Rajendran who received a full ride scholarship to USC in biomedical engineering.

Nina Yang is a junior at Tualatin High School and interested in electrical engineering.

"All of this hardware and here are the gas chambers," said Yang while pointing to the robot she and her team named "Kronos."

The girls hope their work inspires others.

"I think we're leaving a mark and they're going to follow in our footsteps," said Polly Irungu, a sophomore.

Their teacher, Jill Hubbard is another inspiration. Hubbard is a former engineer at Intel who started the technology program at Tualatin High School.

"I think maybe twenty years ago, girls might have done it but would have been uncomfortable doing it," she said, "Today, they're engaged and passionate . . . willing to go for what they want."

The National Center for Women and Information Technology also recognized Victoria Chen from Sunset High School, Prianthi Prentice from Southridge High School, Amy Wiegand from Wilsonville High School, Sarah Lima from Reynolds High School, Khue Tran from Benson Polytechnic High School and Rashele Raber from North Salem High School.

Awardees were selected for computing and information technology skills, leadership, academics, and plans for college.

And some of them for building robots.

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