After decades of life in a cramped portable, Waterloo Engineering Outreach will find a new home in Engineering 7, currently under construction. When the first floor space opens in September 2018, Outreach will finally have the room and resources it needs to operate the programs that are designed to promote a better understanding of the impact engineering has in Canada and beyond.
Waterloo’s Engineering Outreach is one of Canada’s largest and most successful outreach programs. It has reached thousands of students through its unique hands-on engineering activities and events. With industry collaboration, Engineering Outreach is ensuring that the new generation of engineers represent the diversity of our nation. With programs designed to attract women to an engineering education and support them at the undergraduate and graduate levels, as well as in industry and academia, Waterloo is helping to fill the talent pipeline that our world requires as it faces unprecedented technological challenges at a pace never seen before.
At the heart of Outreach is showing young people that engineering allows for a life well-lived and full of purpose.
ESQ: 26 Years of Outreach Success
Engineering Science Quest (ESQ) is a perennially popular program that empowers elementary-aged youth by instilling confidence in their science, technology, engineering and math abilities. ESQ engages students through hands-on activities offered in a fun and energetic environment, while fostering an understanding of the technological world.
- Now in its 26th year, ESQ has given more than 41,000 children and youth early awareness and participation in engineering and science activities.
- More than 300 activities delivered across 15 day camp programs.
- Participants range from Grade 3 to Grade 8
To engage as many students as possible, ESQ offers summer camps on-campus, in smaller communities and in aboriginal locations across Southwestern Ontario. Outside of the summer, ESQ holds school break programs and in-class elementary workshops. In partnership with local schools, ESQ provides programming that focuses on involving parents in the science education of their children.
Attracting and Supporting Women in Engineering
Women in Engineering (WiE) supports current female engineers and university students, while
encouraging the next generation of women to pursue careers in engineering. The program was established to address the issues that female engineers face and encourage more girls and women to become engineers. Waterloo Engineering believes that diversity in all forms is crucial to the future of the profession, providing the perspective and creativity necessary to innovate and change the world.
WiE hosts a variety of programs and partnerships at the elementary, secondary and post-secondary levels that are tailored to the needs of their audiences. Hands-on activities and inspiring mentors show young girls that engineering is about developing creative solutions which enhance everyday life.
One of our most influential programs is our Catalyst: Young Women Weekend. This three-day/two-night event is held on campus where grade 11 women experience
engineering, residence and student life at Waterloo. During this weekend approximately 50 young women will get to experience of Waterloo Engineering firsthand- at the time in their lives that they are making the critical educational choices that will lead to a possible career in engineering. Our research shows that 60% of young women attending this Catalyst weekend apply to engineering schools.
Outreach in E7
When Waterloo Engineering Outreach relocates to Engineering 7 in September 2018, it will have a 1,370 sq. ft. Outreach work area as well as two classrooms that can seat 25 people each. With this new-found ability to bring students into Waterloo Engineering to experience the Outreach programs, students will get an enhanced and focused experience. Plans for a Maker Lab are underway in Outreach to allow greater access to technology for community youth.
Never underestimate the “wow” factor that visiting youth will experience when they realize they working on engineering activities right next to the world-class RoboHub or can watch Engineering students of all years work in the one-of-a-kind Engineering Ideas Clinic. Inspiring today’s youth to embrace engineering has its unique challenges – but Waterloo Engineering is known for tackling the truly difficult problems.