Think Like a Girl: Engineering Kits is a subscription service of packages for young girls, ages 6 to 12+, that teach about engineering topics and industries through activities that are marketed towards girls’ interests and taught using proven methods in which girls learn best. The three co-founders, who are mechanical engineering students from South Jersey, launched their Kickstarter last week.
Think Like a Girl CEO and Co-Founder, Gabrielle Rochino, never knew any female engineers until she began college. “Now that I know some amazing female engineers, I look up to them as real role models,” Gabrielle says. According to the American Society of Mechanical Engineers, ASME, only 14% of engineers in the United States are female. This percentage is not expected to increase dramatically in the next decade.
Gabrielle originally came up with the Think Like a Girl for her Entrepreneurship & Innovation class, a required course in her mechanical engineering program at Rowan University. Although she never once thought that being a female limited her abilities, she still felt self-doubt as she pursued her major. She used what she was feeling in her program to fuel the idea for Think Like a Girl to ensure that “no girl ever feels limitations on her abilities based on her gender or background.”
Gabrielle is joined by Alexis Basantis, CCO and Co-Founder, and Megan DeGeorge, COO and Co-Founder, in development of the product and business. The team has extensively researched why girls lose interest in STEM, the how girls typically learn best, and they have performed numerous focus groups and outreach events.
The team is aiming to raise $40,000 through Kickstarter.
What sets Think Like a Girl apart is their focus on the main reasons why girls do not go into engineering and then the incorporation of proven methods in which girls learn best. The kits expose girls to real, sustainable engineering applications, real female engineer role models, and also encourage creativity and design.
Gabrielle began learning SOLIDWORKS in high school and despite feeling hesitation about being one of the few girls in her CAD class, she went on to excel as one of the top students. She combined these learned skills with her passion for art and began majoring in mechanical engineering. Gabrielle has interned at Dassault Systèmes SOLIDWORKS in Technical Support, Education, and User Experience. She currently has her CSWP and CSWA certifications.