The Women in Engineering Program in the Cockrell School of Engineering at The University of Texas at Austin hosted more than 8,000 children, parents and educators from cities across the state for its 16th annual Introduce a Girl to Engineering Day and Girl Day STEM Festival on Feb. 25, 2017, a daylong event filled with activities that help spark creativity, inspire future careers and show how engineers and scientists can change the world. Elementary and middle school students engaged in 150 activities and hands-on educational experiences, from designing a balloon-powered car to watching physics and chemistry in action.

Thanks to over 1,300 volunteers from UT Austin, nonprofit organizations and local businesses, Girl Day has grown to become the largest event of its kind in Texas and in the country. When UT Austin's first Girl Day event was held in 2001, there were 92 participants.

Cockrell School architectural engineering student Victoria Ibarra, who will graduate this spring, attended Girl Day when she was 10 years old, setting her path to become an engineer. "It's really neat to see this generation of girls who are excited about engineering and want to become engineers and to be able to be a part of that and help future generations," she said.

Girl Day By the Numbers

  • 6,400 — Kindergarten through 8th grade students registered for Girl Day 2017
  • 150 — Activities throughout the day
  • 7,200 — Inches of rainbow electrical tape to create LED butterflies
  • 12,000 — Straws to create sustainable pinwheels
  • 1,950 — Toy animals to save by constructing parachutes

The 2017 Introduce a Girl to Engineering Day was presented by Halliburton and the Girl Day STEM Festival was presented by Texas Instruments. View the full list of partner organizations at

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