Shaking up TECH brings Engineering Sciences and Technology closer to girls

Shaking up TECH brings Technology and Engineering science closer to girls

Every year Aalto University, LUT University and University of Oulu will host a coordinated Shaking up Tech event, which aims to inspire young women to study technology after high school. The technology field offers many opportunities to have an impact on the world!

This year at LUT Campus Patricia Nyamekye and Aino Syväniemi of the MFG4.0 project are presenting different aspects of  3D printing world. 
But how they ended up to to work in the field of engineering sciences?
Read below their stories and insights!

Diversity for Science through AM (3D Printing): Bridging the gender career gaps.

Women and girls need to see the different options that are out there in the world and engineering. We might be losing brilliant minds to other fields simply because the information about engineering options such as additive manufacturing, more commonly 3D printing, doesn’t reach them. So shaking up TECH events are essential as they try to get those people and show the different sides of engineering. Sometimes you might not even know that it is something that fascinates you until you see and hear straight from the engineers themselves.

I don’t know if I would have ever come to study mechanical engineering if I hadn’t stumbled upon a career quiz that gave me mechanical engineering as the first choice. That quiz made me read about it, and that led me here! Even the smallest things can have a big impact.

I got interested in 3D printing through a summer job where I got to use a 3D printer. Being able to touch and handle my own designs was amazing! You rarely get that experience when designing but 3D printing makes it so easy and accessible. Shaking up TECH not only does the information about AM reach younger people better but hopefully it also shows these exciting experiences that you can have in your work life.

Additive manufacturing is a field like any other. It needs new ways of thinking and different kinds of people from different backgrounds. This way, the field can keep on expanding, and new ground-breaking inventions can be made, together. 

Women and girls need to see the different options that are out there in the world of engineering. We might be losing brilliant minds to other fields simply because the information about engineering options such as additive manufacturing, more commonly 3D printing, doesn’t reach them. Shaking up tech events are essential as they try to get those people and show the different sides of engineering. Sometimes you might not even know that it is something that fascinates you until you see and hear straight from the engineers themselves.

I don’t know if I would have ever come to study mechanical engineering if I hadn’t stumbled upon a career quiz that gave me mechanical engineering as the first choice. That quiz made me read about it, and that led me here! Even the smallest things can have a big impact.

I got interested in 3D printing through a summer job where I got to use a 3D printer. Being able to touch and handle my own designs was amazing! You rarely get that experience when designing, but 3D printing makes it easy and accessible. Shaking up TECH not only shares information about AM but also reaches younger people and hopefully shows these exciting experiences you can have in your work life.

Aino Syväniemi

Bachelor of Science (B.Sc.) at LUT University

As highlighted in the report, science is one of the core enablers of achieving sustainable development goals (SDGs): “The future is now; science for achieving sustainable development.”
It has an irreplaceable role in ending hunger, tackling climate change, reducing inequality, and accelerating progress across the 17 SDGs. But, unfortunately, the scarcity of the girl child in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) education has long existed for reasons such as in my case or others.

Having programs such as  Shaking up TECH is essential in attracting girls who may have the potential to pursue STEM but may be reluctant for fear of soloing or competing among boys or others. A little inspiration, encouragement, support, role modelling, and other inclusiveness can sometimes break the stereotypes in gander-career gaps. 

As a girl, I understood that science and sporty activities were only for boys. I wished to read accounting before my high school days with preconceived notions of “the bank has the easy task of money counting and bonuses.” I got enticed into science during high school in 1997 when the preferred school opted to place me in another class. No, I said to them I would not study that course. Eventually, my preferred school was changed, and as nature would have it planned, the new school’s headmaster then suggested placing me in the science class. She has “good enough grades” to pursue science,” he said. There was an ongoing national campaign to encourage more girls to study science orchestrated by the first lady in Ghana.

Luckily, in the current industrial era, “Industry 4.0”, artificial intelligence(AI), robotics, simulations, internet of things (IoT), and additive manufacturing (AM) are important levers in easing or omitting the conventional difficulties and barriers of potential science lovers. AM, for example, offers a simplified and integrated digital thread to engineer intricate designs that provide benefits similar to natural geometrical shapes, a possibility that has never existed in conventional manufacturing methods. Moreover, the capabilities of AM can be extended from everyday consumer goods like toys to high end-applications like human body implants.

Interestingly, there are different categories and several aspects of AM, such as design, materials, machine systems, software, training, education, etc., that require extensive and continuous research to bring it to the necessary academic understanding and industrial uptake. The educational sectors must introduce new subjects like AM at an early age to attract young minds to the field. Undoubtedly, AM will help achieve aspects of the 17 SDGs, particularly quality education, gender equality, responsible consumption, and production. AM enables the engineering of parts that go beyond human capacities for better resource and cost efficiency via optimized designs, customization, lead time reductions, superiority, scrap reduction, etc. Certainly, the creativeness, easiness, simplicity, and robustness, in addition to the increased part functionality offered by AM, make the process very suitable for anyone, irrespective of their gender, location, interest, etc., to design and/or manufacture products without prior experience, as a beneficiary to girl child engagement in science and technology.

I am confident to publicize that the change of course to science gave me an opportunity to contribute to students learning and the scientific, scholarly committee. I deem it a privilege to motivate young ladies to undertake science or engineering courses, including chemistry, design and manufacturing.

Patricia Nyamekye

Doctor of Science in Technology ( D.Sc. (Tech.)) , ar LUT University