Nitsch Engineering, Inc., a Boston-based civil engineering, land surveying, transportation engineering, sustainable site consulting, planning, and GIS firm, hosted its 9th annual Introduce a Girl to Engineering Day on March 10, 2010. Titled “Get Excited About Green Energy,” this year’s program educated attendees about different sources of renewable energy, and was co-sponsored by First Wind, KidWind, and Vanderweil Engineers. Sixty 6th to 12th grade girls participated in this year’s event, which was held at the NEXUS Green Building Resource Center in downtown Boston.
The girls started the day with an icebreaking activity that introduced them to different sources of energy. They then listened to a lecture about renewable energy by Judith Nitsch, PE, LEED AP BD+C, President of Nitsch Engineering, and Marian Tomusiak, Wind Turbine Lab Analyst at the Museum of Science. The girls then split into groups to design and build blades for a wind turbine that would produce the most amount of energy. Multiple prizes were awarded, including a tour of Massachusetts Maritime Academy and its renewable energy sources for the high school group winners.
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The day culminated with a panel discussion about working as an engineer. Moderated by Amy LeBlanc, EIT, LEED AP BD+C, a Project Designer at Nitsch Engineering, the panel included perspectives from five female engineers: Brandy Chambers, FE, LEED AP, Electrical Engineer at Vanderweil Engineers; Alice Cheng, IT Manager at First Wind; Meghan Duggan, LEED AP, Assistant Director of Mechanical, Electrical, Plumbing, and Sustainability at Harvard Business School; Rosie Osser, FE, LEED AP, Mechanical Engineer at Vanderweil Engineers; and Sarah Casey, a Civil Engineering co-op student from Nitsch Engineering.
After the event, the vice president of a construction company and father of two of the girls said, “The planning, careful selection of guest speakers, and thoughtful approach to the topic was on-target and well-executed. Most importantly, you created an environment that was comfortable for the girls that allowed them to explore, share, and learn. … You showed [my daughters] a side of the profession of which they were unaware and gave our entire family something to talk about for days.”