This November, Girls Inc. middle school girls built electric motors during an innovative field trip to Tesla, Inc. Tesla is committed to solving big problems, and in order to do that they need diverse team members to bring different perspectives and ideas to the table. Tesla is encouraging underrepresented groups, young women in this case, to consider careers in engineering.
An all-female Tesla team worked with our girls to build a model of the real motor used in a Tesla vehicle. The girls were intrigued to learn they could build a motor using household items such as a battery, coil, paper clips, electrical tape, sandpaper, playdough, and a magnet. They had fun assembling their motors, although the task was not easy. The girls learned that engineering is about constantly solving problems, and trying a different way. It took several attempts, patience, and tenacity…but in the end they were able to announce “success”!
Since Tesla’s inception in 2003, CEO and Co-founder Elon Musk has run the company using “first principles” thinking. The girls learned to boil down a process to the fundamental parts that you know are true and then build up from there. Approaching a problem this way takes much more mental energy, but as the Tesla staff explained, this is how innovation happens.
Introducing girls to a variety of career options, specifically in traditionally male-dominated fields, is a key component of the Girls Inc. experience. When girls meet women in STEM careers who are supportive and engaging, they start to realize the possibilities for themselves. Thank you to our partners at Tesla for inspiring our girls to be strong, smart, and bold!