Engineering & Manufacturing Lead Academy Teacher
Cordova High School, FCUSD
In recognition of International Women’s Day, the Sacramento Valley Manufacturing Alliance (SVMA), would like to recognize some of the Women in Manufacturing in the Sacramento Region and share their stories with the region’s manufacturers. If you know of a woman in manufacturing, or a woman contemplating her future in manufacturing, please share these stories, and inspire the next the generation of manufacturing excellence.
As we all know, the future of manufacturing requires inspiring the next generation through education, enlightenment and opportunities. Faith Caplan is the Engineering & Manufacturing Lead Academy Teacher at Cordova High School in Rancho Cordova. Faith has been a teacher at Cordova for 13 years.
Faith has a BS in Industrial Engineering from Oregon State. Following OSU, she worked at Hewlett-Packard for five years, taught math for 5 years at Cordova and since 2014 she has been building the engineering and manufacturing academy at Cordova.
As anyone who has collaborated with Faith knows, she is passionate about the program, serving her students and building relationships with employers in pursuit of classroom projects and employment opportunities for her students. Last summer, Faith was able to support four of her students secure employment with local manufacturers upon graduating.
Faith has noticed a change in men’s attitudes toward women in engineering & manufacturing over the years, but noted that when she graduated from OSU, only 8% of the engineering students were women. Today she notices the small things, like going to a Lowe’s and being instructed about screw sizing and threading. These experiences motivate Faith to support the female students at Cordova to follow their dreams.
Faith noted that the prevalence of gender stereotypes impedes many young women from considering manufacturing, adding that exposure to even basic hand and power tools can change their attitudes, even in class or when participating in tours of local manufacturers. Giving young women an equal opportunity in the classroom is key to their success in manufacturing. (remove in LI Story)
Faith’s words of advice to women interested in manufacturing, “You will be outnumbered. Stay focused and stand up for yourself. You have just as much reason to be there as any man.”
Faith shared that her biggest challenge is finding the time to have fun learn new things. She believes it is important that her students can see her passion and desire to learn while still having fun. Her second challenge, motivating her students to remain focused, strive for their best, and yes, not use their phones during class.
Faith shared that her personal goal is for Cordova HS to be invited to the MIT InvenTeam competition. Second, she would like to write a curriculum (making, manufacturing, STEM) that is kid-friendly and scalable depending upon the students’ ages. Manufacturers, if you share Faith’s passion and belief about inspiring the next generation, you know where to find her!