Girls Engaged in Engineering

On Tuesday, March 12, 2019, 44 middle school girls from Sarasota, FL, visited the University of Florida for the Girls Engaged in Engineering event sponsored by the Herbert Wertheim College of Engineering. During their visit, students attended a session headed by Ondine Wells of the STRIDE Center where they learned about transportation engineering followed by an activity where the students were tasked with designing a “Complete Street.” Complete Streets strive to meet the needs of all users – from drivers in cars and delivery trucks to kids on bikes or on foot. Working in small groups, girls were given different scenarios in which they had to design an appropriate street using magnet boards and pieces based on, a free online street design tool. Andrew Meeker, a manager with the Gainesville Community Redevelopment Agency, made a special guest appearance to talk about a real-life complete streets initiative along South Main Street in Gainesville, FL. During the multi-year design and construction process, Meeker sought community input using the magnet activity he created and then incorporated the feedback into the redesign of an important city street. Students enjoyed asking a wide range of questions from budgeting and maintenance to construction and tree selection.