This Saturday, over 5,000 young girls from the 1st through 8th grades flocked to UT and the Cockrell School of Engineering for the fifteenth annual Introduce a Girl to Engineering Day. Longhorn Racing was proud to be one of the 100+ student and community organizations taking part in what has now become the largest event of its kind in Texas!
The intention behind Introduce a Girl to Engineering Day is in the name: helping young girls foster an interest in the STEM fields that are so sorely lacking their presence. This was done through a variety of different STEM-themed activities, where girls were encouraged to experiment with robotics, learn how to code, or, in the case of Longhorn Racing, build their own rubber band-powered racer.
Longhorn Racing’s activity was called All Wound Up, which involved making their own race car out of a spool, a straw, a metal washer, a paper clip, and a rubber band that is used to power the car. After winding up the rubber band, the girls set their cars down and watched them drive! The purpose is to teach young girls about potential and kinetic energy: winding up the rubber band stores energy in it, which is then transformed into motion, or kinetic energy. The potential energy wound up in the rubber band, the faster the racer will go!
Paired with the activity was a display showcasing what Longhorn Racing is all about. We brought out the 2013 frame and the 2015 car so that the girls could check them out firsthand. They could sit in the car, explore the technology, and ask questions to find out more about what it would be like to join an organization like Longhorn Racing one day in the future.
The whole purpose of the day was to get girls excited about what a future in the STEM fields could hold, and we’re hopeful that Longhorn Racing’s contribution to such an important cause will resonate with the girls we talked to and inspire them to seek a STEM career as they grow up!