A Mother-Daughter Technology Engineering and Aptitude (TEA) event designed to bring information about engineering and technology careers to young women drew a crowd. Sixty-five middle and high school girls along with their mothers, teachers, and grandmothers filled the Edmonds Conference Center Feb. 7 to learn about engineering by participating in hands-on activities such as building rockets and hovercrafts.
The girls also previewed “I AM Washington,” a youth outreach video highlighting careers in advanced manufacturing and showcasing companies statewide engaged in advanced manufacturing processes.
The TEA event was presented by the Materials and Process Development Center of Excellence at Edmonds and Everett Community Colleges and the Center of Excellence for Marine Manufacturing & Technology at Skagit Valley College, Whidbey Island Campus. Biomedical Engineer Celeste Baine of the Engineering Education Service Center led hands-on activities at the workshop so the girls could learn about technical and engineering careers firsthand.
Through a partnership with the Office of the Superintendent of Public Instruction (OSPI), teachers attending the event were able to earn professional development clock hours.
“The tremendous need for technicians at all levels in manufacturing continues to grow and we want young girls, families, and teachers to understand this as well,” said Mary Kaye Bredeson, director of the Materials and Process Development Center of Excellence. “Advanced manufacturing in Washington state is thriving and the career opportunities are virtually unlimited.”
Centers of Excellence serve as statewide liaisons to business, industry, and the state’s educational systems for the purpose of creating a highly skilled and readily available workforce critical to the success of the industries driving the state’s economy. There are 11 centers located at community and technical colleges statewide focused on key industries important to the state economy.
“Celeste did a wonderful job keeping her large audience engaged and enthusiastic about the day’s activities. The feedback we’ve received so far reflects that and has been 100 percent positive,” said Ann Avary, director of the Marine Manufacturing & Technology Center of Excellence. “We’ve already heard from parents and teachers that the kids are excited about what they learned Saturday and want to attend more events in the future.”
Centers of Excellence are designated statewide leaders in specialized workforce education and training in industries that help the state’s economy grow. The centers serve as a point of contact and resource hub for industry trends, best practices, innovative curriculum, and professional development opportunities.