October 6, 2003

It’s A Girl Thing -- From High Tops To High Tech

DALLAS (SMU) -- Girls and their mentors will experience the true meaning of “sole” sisters when they team up in a competition to design athletic shoes.

In designing an athletic shoe, the girls will use math and science to create the shoes, including learning about:

  • The biomechanics of the foot;
  • The differences between male and female feet;
  • Creative and analytical thinking skills;

“It’s A Girl Thing: Engineering and Sports” will begin at 9 a.m. Saturday, Nov. 15, at the Junkins Building on the SMU campus. The competition is targeting middle school girls in order to interest them early in a career in engineering and technology. The competition is part of the SMU School of Engineering’s strategy to achieve a 50 percent female enrollment, or gender parity, over the next five years.

“Nationally only 10 percent of engineers are women,” says Betsy Willis, director of student programs and outreach for the SMU School of Engineering. “The need for female engineers is greater than ever. We need to reach out to these girls to increase their interest and knowledge about the opportunities available to them.”

To sign up for the competition, teams will need to call 214-768-1732 or visit the Web site www.engr.smu.edu. The Institute for Engineering Education will provide all materials necessary to girls and their mentors for the shoe designing competition.

The competition is being sponsored by the Institute for Engineering Education and the Girl Scouts of Tejas Council.