Hot Topic November – Outreach!

Outreach is an important part of SWE.  In SWE’s strategic goals, outreach can fall under both Professional Excellence and Advocacy.  Through outreach, we develop girls as future engineers, and we advocate for them to gain the confidence and skills they need to become engineers.

There are many different forms of outreach, and outreach can be tailored to your section’s abilities and desires.  Some outreach activities require only a few members and minimal supplies, while others are massive undertakings for scores of girls.  Nevertheless, Outreach is important to SWE sections, and is a wonderful way to inspire girls to pursue science and technology!

Outreach Ideas

  • Work with the Girl Scouts in your area – visit a troop, hold a patch workshop
  • Help out a Lego League team – these teams need an “expert” to help them design their idea for the competition.  offer to teach SolidWorks, or to help them program something.  They also have to build and program a robot and are always looking for more adults
  • Visit a classroom
  • Host some high school girls and bring them to college classes
  • Have a leadership in STEM event for high school girls – show them how engineers are leaders
  • Volunteer to judge a science fair

Got more ideas? Share them in the comments.

Tips to Outreach:

  • Divide and conquer – involve as many members as you can in both planning and executing
  • Hands-on – the best way to engage girls is a hands-on activity, something they can do and understand STEM
  • Allow creativity – instead of a perfectly pre-designed activity, let girls design something and test it
  • Competition – if you are making something that moves or accomplishes a goal (Rocket Cars, egg drops, towers, bridges), let the girls have a friendly competition.  You don’t even need prizes, just have fun!

If you do any outreach, be sure to log them in SWEeter futures.  We have a region goal of reaching 25000 grls this fiscal year.  The sections with the most Outreach can win grants for their section to do even more Outreach! First place is $1500, second is $1000, and third is $500.

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Lunch with Advisors

SWE officers at UCR had lunch with faculty advisers on October 14th. It is a quarterly event happened in the beginning of every quarter that SWE officers can get opportunities to know more about our advisers by talking about our plans, goals, and achievements for the quarter while having lunch together.

Since it is the beginning of the school year, we were especially excited to introduce our new officers to our advisers and to share our summer experiences to each other. Some of us shared their wonderful internship experiences about what and how much they learned through their internships. Some of us talked about their summer classes. Then, we started discussing how SWE could get more members and help them academically and professionally, and our advisers encouraged us and sometimes gave us tips and advice to organize events or workshops. Our advisers especially liked Bourns Engineering Day which SWE’s biggest event of the year to encourage young girl scouts and kids to learn about science and engineering by demonstrating fun activities to them.

- Nikita Haridoss

High School Day – UC Riverside

hs day (1)On October 10, 2014, outreach planned an event for a high school robotics team. Our goal for High School Day was to show the importance of engineering. We had a presentation on what engineering is, and how it impacts our everyday life. Also, we wanted to promote UCR’s wonderful Engineering department to prospective undergraduates by presenting students’ projects. A graduate student gave the presentation about visual sounds. Institute of Electrical and Electronic Engineers gave a presentation on their project, the unmanned aerial vehicle. During all these presentations, the students were very engaged by taking notes, and asking questions. Finally, snacks along with goody bags were provided to the guests.

- Nikita Haridoss

SWE-UCR Ice Cream Social

The Society of Women Engineer at UCR’s first general meeting this quarter was our annual ice cream social. The ice cream social is a chance for members to mingle with each other as well as learn more about SWE as an organization. The meeting started with updates from our chapter president on everything we accomplished over the summer and all the events we have planned for the year. Then everyone participated in an ice breaker that allowed them to get to one another other in a fun way. All the attendees split into groups and demonstrated their own rendition of a human rocket ship. Everyone had a blast gathering together in rocket ship formation. After much deliberation, the winners were chosen and got to be first in line for the main event: getting ice cream! The line went out the door as everyone waited to grab their favorite flavor of ice cream and choice of condiments.

Overall, the ice cream social was a fun and yummy way for new members to get acquainted with each other as well as old members to hang out and catch up.

-  Nikita Haridoss

CSULB Evening With Industry

10644898_745517575496731_5667887109465823715_nCSULB’s annual Evening with Industry had a tremendous turnout, including over one-hundred attendees. We had the honor of hosting many representatives from different engineering companies and multiple disciplines: Turner, Chevron, Casco Contractors Incorporated, Boeing, Clark Construction, Raytheon, So Cal Edison, Fluor, So Cal Gas Company, Northrop Grumman, and T-Mobile.

Engineering students had a chance to network with professionals on a more personal level. The evening also featured a panel of guest speakers, including some former CSULB members who are now successful professionals.

Thank you to our section’s industry chair, Ruby Granillo, and all the executive board for working so hard to make this event successful; we also would like to thank the faculty from the college of engineering for their continuous support.
– Marianne Gonzalez

Preparing for WE14 at UC Riverside

1779739_863411173668972_2519628229987785212_n (1)Preparing for any type of conference or professional event can be stressful and overwhelming.

Just among the SWE officers alone, people were scrambling to finalize the details of their resumes, attire, travel plans, and goals for the conference. The primary objective, for most of the attendees, was to be successful at the career fair, which housed over 250 companies.

It is well known that people get hired at this conference for both internships and full-time positions—so the pressure was on. It is difficult not to go in with a definition of success dictated by the number of resumes recruiters keep or the number of business cards exchanged.

However, it is easy to find comfort in the fact that this conference will not be faced alone: there are many other people out there just as scared and nervous as you are.

So, if you plan to attend a conference any time soon, please note the following disclaimer.
Common side effects include but are not limited to: lack of sleep, excess coffee drinking, lapses in memory, and overall craziness. It is not recommended that conference attendees operate heavy machinery for expensive periods of time. Relying on cell phones can be quite unreliable and may prove counterproductive.

Good luck!

- Danielle Bacon, UC Riverside

Girl Scout Night Jr: Robots Rock! – U of U SWE

DSC_9675ODSC_9800n November 7, the University of Utah SWE hosted our second annual Girl Scout Night Jr!  This year’s theme for our Girl Scout nights is Robots Rock, exploring the wonderful world of robotics and the parts that make them.  Our four activities were programming robots, making magnetic motors, create a hydraulic arm, and exploring the world of aerodynamics.

75 girls and over 25 parents and troops leaders joined us for the evening.  We started with our traditional tabling in our lobby, with 7 different groups hosting tables on everything from mining to competition robots.  Two professional engineering societies also joined us: Greater Salt Lake SWE and Greater Salt Lake IEEE.

Girls absolutely enjoyed the event.  Many of the young girls said that they were now thinking about science and engineering, even if they hadn’t thought about it before.  The adults enjoyed the night too.  They loved the education on STEM activities at home, and enjoyed their take home information, like programming websites and borax for polymers.

All in all, it was a great event.  We are excited to continue working with the Girl Scouts, and look forward to many more years of events!