Engineer Your Life (The Blog)

EYL troops; today, we must admit. We’re tired.

We’re tired of the notion that girls have to be one or the other. That we have to be a beauty OR an intellectual. That we have to be an athlete OR a ballerina. That we couldn't possibly know how to expertly apply both lipstick and a scientific theory. That we can’t hold a baby in the morning and a board meeting in the afternoon. 

Puh-leeze. After a while this all starts to sound like Charlie Brown’s teacher.

Waah, Waah waah waah……

This is 2010. Two-thousand-and-ten. Well into the 21st century. Yeah. And sadly enough, these foolish, outdated, stifling notions still seem to creep into society and the minds of both young (and old) girls and boys.

It’s crazy talk. Ignore it.

If you're ever feeling tired of the babble, think about the following:

  • For almost 200 years the Supreme Court did not have one female on its bench. By the end of this week, they’ll most likely be three. (NY Times)
  • The author Jhumpa Lahiri (who looks like a movie star) received a Pulitzer Prize, a PEN/Hemingway Award, a Guggenheim fellowship and a James Beard award for her book Interpreter of Maladies. It was her first book.
  • Long distance runner Pamela Reed once ran 300 miles without sleep. Her male counterpart, Dean Karnazes, has twice attempted to run 300 miles without sleep — and failed. Pamela has five kids.

  • Marissa Meyer, Google’s first female engineer, helps run one of the most powerful countries in the world. She has been compared to Grace Kelly for her elegance. She has been featured in Vogue and Glamour. She is 35 years old.

  • Maya Angelou was the first poet to speak at an inauguration since Robert Frost spoke at JFK’s. She isn’t really interested in people telling her she has to be one thing or the other. When asked who her first male love interest was, she has been known to answer “Mr. William Shakespeare.”

Ok, we’re awake now. We hope you are too. And trust us, there are many, many, many more examples of women who perk us up better than a jolt of caffeine.

So, remember. You are not cardboard cutouts or cartoon characters. You are not a stereotype or somebody else’s notion of who you should be. Remember that endless, boundless possibilities await you girls next year, the next ten years, and for the rest of your life.

You know we are going to say next. Dream Big. Love what you do. Engineer Your Life.



Engineers: ever look at something someone has thrown away and wish it had a second (or third) life? Ever imagine simple, inventive solutions to big problems? Ever feel like you have an award winning invention just waiting to be brought to life?

Well, it’s time to put all that good thinking in motion. 

WGBH’s engineering focused reality show, Design Squad, recently launches its second annual Trash to Treasure contest. The challenge is to find everyday discarded materials (aka trash, duh) and turn them into something innovative that helps people and our planet. Twenty-five finalists will be featured on Design Squad’s popular web site, and three winners will travel to Boston to have their designs brought to life by Continuum, an award winning design consultancy.

Last year’s winner, Max Wallack, created a design shelter for the homeless out of trash bags and wire hangers. Think you have an idea as good as that? Show us!

Click here to get started. We can't wait to see what you've got. 

Dream big. Love what you do. And win!