Nurturing the Next Generation of Engineers
by Jay Alexander, CTO of Keysight Technologies
As part of Engineers Week, this past Saturday Keysight’s Santa Rosa, CA headquarters hosted our annual Introduce a Girl to Engineering Day (IGED) event. We’ve been doing these for over 15 years now, and this one was the best yet! 100 girls and young women from 6th through 12th grades gathered for six hours of fun, team-based learning, where the project involved radio transmissions, secret codes, cryptexes, and a competition to discover the name of a famous female engineer. Conceived by Brad Rush and made real by him, Yipin Wu, and many other volunteers, the project was really creative and very engaging.
In the past we’ve used more conventional projects like building balsa wood bridges or rubber band powered vehicles, and there’s nothing wrong with those. But using electronics was obviously closer to home for us, and the participants were even able to benefit from a handheld spectrum analyzer! It was monitoring the wireless signals occurring throughout the room, to help people see and understand the frequencies they (and their competitors) were using. The prizes were cut and etched using wafer material from our semiconductor fab. Super cool.
Our guest speaker was Linda Kiss, Ph.D., who gave a very inspiring talk about her career followed by tons of great questions and engagement from the audience. Here’s a photo of me with her and her husband along with one of our fantastic Keysight volunteers, Vandana (Duff) Wylde.
The event just made my day and entire weekend. Thanks to Emmi Ngo and the entire Keysight team who made it possible, and to all the people beyond Keysight who are also supporting the next generation of female talent with their own events and programs. Our world needs more people of all genders to take up engineering, and these events are a powerful way to spark and support the innovators of the future.