Robogals's Impact on Aspiring Female Engineers

Jun 13th, 2024

Anna Goldsworthy & Emily Pike

In a world where STEM opportunities are abundant but awareness and encouragement aren't always evenly distributed, there's a group quietly making waves. Robogals, run by passionate MUN STEM students, is helping break down the barriers to entry in male-dominated spaces. As we read through the responses to our end-of-year survey, it's not just feedback we see, but stories! Moments of “I’d never thought about it like that” and “maybe I can do this!” Join us as we review the impact we've made together, one girl at a time.

"After attending the High School Engineering Day event organized by Robogals, my perspective on pursuing a career in STEM shifted. I felt more confident in trying new things, made several new friends who share my interests, and started thinking more thoroughly about pursuing engineering in my post-secondary education. The gender barrier in STEM-related fields discouraged me from wanting to pursue engineering, worried about being the only girl in some of my classes. Robogals shifted my mindset and exposed me to a world of opportunities that were waiting for me at university and introduced me to so many talented and skilled female engineers", said Natalie.

Natalie represents one of 75 students who attended one of the Robogals high school events this past winter. In February, Robogals hosted the High School Engineering Day. This day-long event gave high school students an opportunity to participate in a design challenge with their peers, tour labs, and hear from current engineering students through a student-led panel. Feedback from participants highlighted their interest in hearing more from current Engineering students. So, Robogals organized a High School Info Night, hosted by students, for students, to debug what it means to study engineering. With 42 prospective Engineering students in attendance, it's clear that these people want to hear from us.

In an effort to gauge our impact and identify how we can better achieve our mandate, Robogals went straight to the source. We developed a feedback form to survey high school students who participated in a Robogals event. We received an astounding amount of positive feedback. The vast majority of students indicated that Robogals influenced their decision to choose Engineering. Some students elaborated on their experience by leaving a testimonial. Here are some of the responses: 

“The Robogals event that I attended helped me realize that my interests relate strongly to the engineering program…it helped to confirm my decision to apply for the program", said a high school student, female.

“I had already applied to engineering before attending the event, but I was still on the fence and not completely sure it was what I wanted. Seeing all the girls and learning about what they’re pursuing, the design teams, and all the other engineering opportunities made me so much more confident in my decision and showed me how great the engineering community and support is at MUN”, said a grade 12 student, female. 

“Talking to everyone and hearing their experiences really helped me realize I wanted to be involved in engineering. Prior to it I was on the fence if I truly wanted to”, shared Hannah.

“Robogals showed me the opportunities at MUN, what the courses and programs will be like, and helped me figure out what I wanted to do”, said grade 12 student, male.

“Robogals made me excited to see women in STEM”, mentioned Flora.

“This program strongly influenced me to pick engineering as my career next year. I got to learn what mechatronics was, which was really interesting to me", said a high school student, female.

This is only a sample of the amazing feedback we have received as a result of two events Robogals MUN has hosted. It is these young students that motivate us to continue our work. We look forward to welcoming the class of 2029 this Fall and hope that some will choose to become a Robopal!