eCite Digital Repository

Attracting girls to civil engineering through hands-on activities that reveal the communal goals and values of the profession


Colvin, W and Lyden, S and Leon de la Barra, BA, Attracting girls to civil engineering through hands-on activities that reveal the communal goals and values of the profession, Journal of Leadership and Management in Engineering, 13, (1) pp. 35-41. ISSN 1532-6748 (2013) [Refereed Article]

Restricted - Request a copy

Copyright Statement

Copyright 2013 American Society of Civil Engineers

DOI: doi:10.1061/(ASCE)LM.1943-5630.0000208


In this paper we report on our work to develop hands-on activities for middle school classrooms that clearly reveal how civil engineers make a substantial societal impact. These activities and their accompanying messaging vividly show how, through their work, teams of civil engineers help people around the world have better quality of life in a sustainable way. All activities are easily reproducible with low-cost materials and represent a number of specialization areas within civil engineering—namely, structural, urban and community planning, and water resources. The messaging that is an integral part of the activities uses the latest available research on why girls are underrepresented in civil engineering in particular, and the science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) fields in general, to highlight the communal goals and values that civil engineers strive for. The results presented in this paper should allow civil engineers to more clearly show how their work enacts communal and altruistic goals that are known to be generally more highly endorsed by women than by men. Preliminary results on the implementation of these strategies in the context of an all-girls middle school show promise in enabling a better connection between the civil engineering profession and female students.

Item Details

Item Type:Refereed Article
Keywords:gender, diversity, engineering, communal goals and values
Research Division:Engineering
Research Group:Other engineering
Research Field:Other engineering not elsewhere classified
Objective Division:Education and Training
Objective Group:Schools and learning environments
Objective Field:Management, resources and leadership
UTAS Author:Colvin, W (Mr William Colvin)
UTAS Author:Lyden, S (Dr Sarah Lyden)
UTAS Author:Leon de la Barra, BA (Dr Bernardo Leon de la Barra)
ID Code:82648
Year Published:2013
Deposited By:Engineering
Deposited On:2013-02-10
Last Modified:2017-11-06
Downloads:2 View Download Statistics

Repository Staff Only: item control page