Introduce a girl to engineering

Everyone should learn early to understand and handle technology. One of the best things my father did was to teach me the theory of electricity, how to draw simple electric circuits, what the parts did, and the meaning of Ohm’s Law—when I was eight years old. I knew fractions, so I could learn that V=IR, R=V/I, and I=V/R. He explained in terms of water what these values meant for electrical current. In a circuit drawing, I learned which symbols stood for which physical parts and (in theory at least) how to use a soldering iron.

At the same age, he taught me take a wheel with a flat tire off a car (including loosening the bolts before jacking it off the ground), extract the tube, find the leak, patch it, put it back together, pump it up, and put the wheel back on the car.

Trivial and domestic as these tasks were, they stood me in very good stead at a slightly later age when other girls were getting the message that they couldn’t handle tools or technology.

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