Breaking Down Barriers: UVic EcoCAR Mentors the Science Venture Girls Club

Earlier this month, the UVic EcoCAR team invited the Science Venture Girls Club to visit their shop to learn about the importance of advanced vehicle technologies. This was a special visit because there was one thing that was visibly missing—boys. For the first time in the UVic shop, females outnumbered males with a ratio of 16:1.

Engineering is a field historically dominated by males, making it easy for young females to form assumptions that they are not cut out for engineering related positions. To break through that barrier, the female UVic team members spent the afternoon with the Science Venture girls talking about different engineering roles and showcasing their EcoCAR work. The conversation started out by exploring the issue of climate change and the need for sustainable technologies and filtered down to what is being done today with advanced vehicle technologies to help alleviate the pressures human activity is placing on the environment.

The Science Venture girls were given the opportunity to come up with their own innovative vehicle solutions and draw a green vehicle of the future. They came up with an impressive range of creative ideas from magnet-powered vehicles to using waste as fuel. The UVic team then showed the girls what they are doing to their GM-donated vehicle to transform it into a plug-in hybrid electric vehicle and discussed what alternative fuel sources are becoming more widely available today.

The UVic team believes that educating today’s youth on the importance of engineering careers and sustainable practices is an essential step in ensuring a greener planet and will continue to do so throughout the EcoCAR competition.