Contra Costa Transportation Authority and Stantec partner to give future female engineers an edge in STEM
Walnut Creek, CA- Ygnacio Valley High School in Concord recently launched the Mt. Diablo Unified School District’s first Femineer™ Program thanks to a joint effort between Contra Costa Transportation Authority (CCTA) and global architecture, engineering, and design firm Stantec to empower the workforce of the future. With Stantec’s support, Ygnacio Valley High School’s Engineering Pathway was able to bring Cal Poly Pomona’s Femineer™ Program to female students interested in developing their creative problem-solving and critical thinking skills through high-quality, hands-on experiences.
Cal Poly Pomona’s College of Engineering created and funded The Femineer™ Program starting in 2013 to inspire female students to pursue Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math (STEM) in their careers and education. The program provides 6th– through 12th-grade female students with project-based learning through engagement with engineering mentors, while fostering a community for current and future STEM leaders. The initiative engages participants through highly creative, hands-on activities with real-world applications. Through the program, Femineer™ girls acquire the technical knowledge and practical skills necessary to become confident and strong in their future careers.
“Transportation technology is rapidly changing and our field will need a workforce to meet those advances,” CCTA Executive Director Timothy Haile said. “CCTA supports STEM education to help cultivate future transportation professionals and we are grateful to partner with Stantec and the Mt. Diablo Unified School District in our effort to make our industry more inclusive and diverse.”
The Femineer™ Club will meet every two weeks after school. Initially, female students will be introduced to fundamental tools. As the program progresses, they will learn basic robotics skills such as how to program Hummingbird boards consisting of motors, sensors, and light-emitting diodes. Stantec’s female engineers will collaborate to help guide lessons and offer mentorship.
“As a company, we’re committed to making lasting connections to people and communities and fostering a culture of inclusion and diversity,” says Tina Moschetti, a vice president in Stantec’s Transportation group. “Having the opportunity to work side-by-side with creative female students is inspiring, and we’re honored to support the next generation of female engineers. We’re humbled to partner with CCTA and the Mt. Diablo Unified School District to bring this meaningful program to life.”
“During the learning process, women in STEM can lift girls up by working collaboratively with them,” says Mt. Diablo Unified Superintendent Adam Clark, Ed.D. “We hope the new Femineer™ afterschool program will build confidence and make learning more fun while professionals from our community provide mentoring to help inspire curiosity and passion for STEM careers in our students,”
About the Contra Costa Transportation Authority
The Contra Costa Transportation Authority (CCTA) is a public agency formed by Contra Costa voters in 1988 to manage the county’s transportation sales tax program and oversee countywide transportation planning efforts. With a staff of 20 people managing a multi-billion-dollar suite of projects and programs, CCTA is responsible for planning, funding, and delivering transportation infrastructure projects and programs throughout the county. CCTA also serves as the county’s designated Congestion Management Agency, responsible for putting programs in place to manage traffic levels. More information about CCTA is available at ccta.net.
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About Ygnacio Valley High School
Ygnacio Valley High School is a public secondary school located at 755 Oak Grove Road in Concord, California. It is part of the Mt. Diablo Unified School District and draws students from Concord as well as from the neighboring communities of Walnut Creek and Pleasant Hill. The school currently educates about 1,300 students in grades 9 through 12. The school’s Engineering Pathway provides three years of Project Lead The Way career technical education courses including Engineering Essentials, Introduction to Engineering Design and Computer Integrated Manufacturing. The Femineer™ girls are also taking yearly college courses from Diablo Valley College as part of the pathway’s CCAP initiative (College and Career Access Pathways) to increase completion of Associate of Science degrees by Ygnacio Valley High School engineering pathway students through 2024.
About the Femineer™ Program
The Femineer™ Program is a unique and innovative program devoted to inspiring and empowering 6th– through 12th-grade female students to pursue STEM majors and careers. The Program enhances Cal Poly Pomona College of Engineering’s commitment to support underserved populations by recruiting and graduating increased numbers of historically under-represented students.