Encouraging Young Girls in Construction
It’s 2021, and women only make up about 10% of construction industry workers. Although a minority in the industry, women are making strides to break down barriers and become more of an influence in the industry.
In honor of today being International Day of the Girl, we wondered how young girls can be encouraged to explore a possible career in construction. For many, they probably don’t realize a career in construction is possible.
As a construction trade association, we know there is a plethora of opportunities in this industry! There are the trades: plumbers, plasterers, electricians, iron workers, painters, masons, flooring installers…the list is a long one. However, projects also need architectural designers, structural engineers, project managers, safety managers, and fore(wo)men.
Encouraging young girls to play and build is an easy way to expose them early on. Here are a few different, hands-on activities get them started. Plus, they’re fun for adults, too!
1) Building Shapes - Construct shapes with just two household items, such as toothpicks and marshmallows. Kids will learn to manipulate elements to assemble larger structures – a key skill in construction play.
2) Matching - Play a matching card game where kids match the movements of common construction equipment to each other (for example, a cement mixer would match with the movement ‘Spin’). It’s great for growing interest in construction machines like bulldozers and excavators.
3) Create a Neighborhood - Using cardboard, paper, color pencils/crayons/markers, scissors, paint and paintbrushes and other creative tools you can find around the house, have your kiddos create their own neighborhood complete with roadways, houses, stop signs, and more. Creating their own neighborhood helps kids make connections with real-world construction projects. Bonus points if you add in dump trucks, bulldozers, and other construction equipment to build out the scene.
4) Build with LEGO - Put their imagination to the test with LEGO building cards. Write down objects on pieces of paper, mix them up in a hat, pick one and prompt them to “build” it. It can be things like a robot, a car, or a hammer. Those creative-thinking skills will be put in motion!
5) Bridge Building - Using spaghetti as the main building material, kids will recreate bridge designs, learning about important architectural elements like trusses. We’re not stopping at building; we also have to test it to see how it holds up against different weights and forces. Download this guide from Big Rentz for different bridge structures to try.
Activities like these can help young girls and boys grow their imaginations while learning possible jobs they can do when they grow up, including construction, architects, and engineers. After all, they’ll be the ones building the world around us one day.