GULFPORT, MS (WLOX) - Dozens of high school girls are giving extra thought to careers in engineering thanks to the science, technology, engineering and mathematics initiative iCan!.
From building circuits to designing footwear, employees at Mississippi Power wanted to make sure a room full of D'Iberville High School girls knew not only how important engineering is, but also that they can be a part of it.
"I love being an engineer. I mean, we make the world better," said Nicole Faulk.
As a successful mechanical engineer, and now vice president of customer service, Faulk knows the ins and outs of the field. Faulk took it upon herself to show ninth graders just how integrated engineering is in daily life.
"From the time you wake up in the morning until the time you go to bed, probably almost everything you touched had an engineer involved in that process," said Faulk.
The information took many of the girls by surprise.
"I had no idea that an engineer would be part of the mascara that I wear every day," said Raegan Rushing.
Because of her growing interest, Rushing is now leaning towards a career as a chemical engineer.
"I think it's really neat that we're making lip gloss as engineers right now," said Rushing.
Rushing's attitude put a smile on Faulk's face.
"It is great for a female to be an engineer, and we can do anything a man can do," said Rushing.
Whether that's designing vehicles, solving structural problems, or creating a new product, students have the confidence to get it done.
"It's looked at as a guys job, but I think girls are just as tough as guys are," said Alivia Lechner.
Leaders hope similar events will be the push needed for students to finally say "I can" to engineering. The iCan! initiative was started by Alabama Power and has now held events for hundreds of Mississippi students.
Wednesday's event was held at MGCCC's Seaway Road location.