Women who are currently working, teaching or studying in the male-dominated field of engineering will interact with area Girl Scouts on Saturday, April 26, to encourage them to consider a career in the field.

“Inspiring Girls in Engineering” is the morning portion of a daylong Girl Scout event to be held from 9 am to 3 pm at the Lincroft campus of Brookdale Community College. Activities includes a fun engineering activity as well as a chance for the girls, all fifth and sixth graders, to ask questions of female engineers or engineering students.

“Only 16 percent of engineers are women,” pointed out Susan Monroe, assistant professor of mathematics at Brookdale, adding that girls traditionally have shied away from the “STEM” fields of science, technology, engineering, and mathematics.

“By bringing girls onto a college campus where they can see meet and interact with women in the field, the hope is they will come away thinking, ‘these students look like me. I can do this’.”

Monroe, along with Lisa Hailey, associate professor of engineering and technology at Brookdale, and students from the college’s Women in Engineering, Science and Technology (WEST) Club, designed a group activity to get the participants thinking like engineers. The task: build a 12-inch tower that can support a stuffed animal for 10 seconds. The challenge: the raw materials will be assigned dollar amounts, and the project must remain within a $200 budget.

The girls will also have a chance to ask questions during a panel discussion with current engineering students from Brookdale and Rutgers.

“You really need to capture kids in sixth through eighth grade,” Monroe said. “That is when girls tend to leave the sciences and math. When you ask a girl that age what they want to do when they grow up, they don’t say, ‘I want to be an engineer’.”

The program is being sponsored by Brookdale Community College, the American Association of University Women (AAUW) and the Girl Scouts of the Jersey Shore.

For additional information on AAUW Stem initiatives, contact Susan Boyce at or (732)939-1091. For information on the event, contact Michelle Masarik, outdoor program specialist, Girl Scouts of the Jersey Shore, at (732)938-5454, extension 181.