MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — If we made a list of traditional female occupations, robotics might not be at the top. But at this workshop hosted by Dakota County Technical College, girls grades 5th through 8th are exposed to career fields that are traditionally thought of as male-oriented.

It’s called the ‘Teens Experiencing Technical Education’ workshop and Kelly Mutuagh of Dakota County Technical College states that the goal is to excite girls about career opportunities that they may not otherwise consider for themselves.

The workshop spans five days during which the girls will control basketball-playing robots, extract DNA from strawberries, learn to change the oil in a car and even operate a back-hoe — activities aimed at sparking interest in fields that, over time, have garnered the stigma “no girls allowed.”

“When we look at some of the traditionally male career options, I think a lot of women didn’t go into them because they weren’t exposed to it as a potential career option, and I think also there’s the perception that it’s very dirty and not something a women should or should want to go into,” Mutuagh said.

But the girls attending this week’s workshop aren’t shying away from a little dirty work.

“I like how they’re getting girls involved in these type of things cause it’s not only for boys, girls can do it, too,” Sarah Koch, an attendee, said.

And not only do boys’ jobs, but as attendee Nicole Beranek said, girls “can sometimes do it even better.”


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