(WSVN) - When girls are asked what they want to be when they grow up, an engineer is usually not the answer, but one woman wants to change that. Kevin Ozebek is highlighting her in tonight’s 7 Spotlight.

Drawbridges go up and down all day long. That means they need regular inspections.

Amaka Amalu, mechanical engineer: “The last time I came, I saw that there was leakage.”

Amaka Amalu is a mechanical engineer, checking out a bridge in Fort Lauderdale.

Amaka Amalu: “I was just inspecting machinery, just checking to see that everything was working properly.”

In addition to specializing in movable bridges, Amaka also helps young girls of color build dreams in what’s called STEM.

Amaka Amalu: “STEM stands for science, technology, engineering and math.”

Amaka says she is the only Black female professional mechanical engineer in the movable bridge industry in the U.S.

Amaka Amalu: “Right now, I’m a one percenter in my field, right? So I didn’t have mentors that looked like me, right? So these girls are also looking for role models.”

To reach more girls, she founded a STEM nonprofit called Tech Girl Power. Through the organization, she gives STEM workshops to help young minority girls develop career goals.

They learn the engineering concepts of flying drones, as well as biomedical engineering by designing bionic hands.

Amaka Amalu: “Our STEM workshops at Tech Girl Power are led by real female engineers, scientists, techies.”

These girls from Lakeview Elementary are learning how to code mini sphere robots.

Amaka Amalu: “They’ll basically code the robot to go a certain direction.”

The workshops are free. The experience is priceless.

Alphaina Pierre, STEM workshop student: “I really enjoy how engineers and coders are like problem solving people.”

Cindy Therangene, STEM workshop student: “When I got to Tech, I started thinking, ‘Should I be a nurse, or should I do engineering?'”

New possibilities evolve in the workshops, and on Amaka’s YouTube Channel. It’s called Engineer Emma.

Amaka Amalu: “Today we’re going to be acting as mechanical engineers.”

Produced with her 9-year-old niece Emma, the channel features all sorts of fun activities to get girls and boys excited about STEM.

And if that’s not enough, she has also written the first of a new STEM adventures book series. It stars Emma, learning how to design and fly a plane.

Emma: “You have to design your plane to resist the drag from the air.”

All of Amaka’s hard work has not gone unnoticed. She has won several community awards.

But she says the best part is helping build new bridges to possible careers in STEM.

Amaka Amalu: “I’m just happy to see that we’re making an impact, making a change.”

For more information on STEM workshops, visit Branches, Inc.

If you know a special person like Amaka, or a group that you think we should spotlight, send us an email at 7Spotlight@wsvn.com.

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