Last week, approximately 50 Girl Scout participants from GSNETX’s Cookie Box Creation enjoyed a full day of hands-on STEM learning and met with notable D/FW women engineers, thanks to LBJ Express, the group leading the LBJ construction project.
Described by state transportation leaders as the most comprehensive and complex project of its type in the country, the 13.3-mile LBJ Express project encompasses improvements along I-635/LBJ Freeway and I-35E/Stemmons Freeway.
The Girl Scouts were given an opportunity to tour the LBJ Traffic Management Center, safely operate a crane and navigate a short obstacle course. The troop members also visited a portion of the project to see excavation work and speak to engineers about the project.
In addition to the field trip, the GSNETX’s Cookie Box Creations winners joined architects and engineers to create a replica of a portion of the LBJ Freeway in the LBJ Express office. Cookie Box Creations is a contest that teams girls with women architects and engineers to design and build empty cookie boxes into free-standing structures.
“It is important that LBJ Express provides opportunities to showcase some of the careers associated on this project,” said Dia Kuykendall, director of corporate affairs at LBJ Infrastructure Group. “We want to demonstrate that careers in construction and development are rewarding, diverse, and offer an opportunity for women to lead and be successful.”
According to the U. S. Department of Transportation, there are more than 60 million women in the labor force, yet women make up only eight percent of engineers and 18 percent of engineering technicians. Both groups hope that opportunities like these will increase figures by giving young girls a first-hand glimpse into the world of technology and engineering.
“We are so grateful to the LBJ Express office for inviting Girl Scouts to participate in this learning experience,” said Jennifer Bartkowski, CEO of Girl Scouts of Northeast Texas. “It is opportunities like this that open young girls’ minds to future careers in STEM, which are in great demand.”