Engineering Girls – Cal Poly Pomona

10378218_10152961646490984_1425485741059283527_nEngineering Girls @ Cal Poly Pomona: The “DREAM” (Do Recognize Engineering Through Academics and Mentoring) Project was held on Friday, November 7, 2014. It was Cal Poly Pomona SWE’s first and brand new outreach event of the Fall Quarter. In the past, we have outreached to middle school, high school, and community college students. This time, we wanted to focus on an event that was geared towards 4th through 6th grade girls.

Engineering Girls @ Cal Poly Pomona was a one day event, where a total of 150 girls from 3 different schools engaged in several hands-on activities that emphasized engineering as a ubiquitous part of daily life. The outreach event invited girls from Robert F. Kennedy Elementary School in Compton, Edison Elementary School in Long Beach, and San Jose Charter Academy in West Covina. They attended workshops in the morning hosted by the different engineering clubs offered on campus, and then had more activities that they got to participate in the afternoon. EngineeringGirlsThe four workshops were: The Gumdrop Bridge workshop hosted by Steel Bridge Club, The L.E.D. Bracelet Workshop hosted by SCETA (Southern California Engineering Technology Association), The Playdough Circuit Workshop hosted by IEEE (Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers), and The Ice Cream Chemistry Workshop hosted by SWE. Students built bridges using gumdrops and toothpicks, powered LED lights in their handmade bracelets, created circuits with playdough, and even created homemade ice cream. In the afternoon, SWE joined together with SHPE (Society of Hispanic Engineers) to create some engineering related activities for the girls to do after lunch. The DREAM project will continue with future events to inspire young girls to consider careers in engineering and technology.

Meet the SWEFLS – Janice See

EWI Hello everyone, it’s my honor to serve as a SWEFL for this academic year. I’m currently a Junior at UCLA studying Computer Science and being a female in engineering has always been a huge part of my identity.

I first decided to get more involved with SWE last year when I started on my upper division classes and noticed that being one of the 5 girls in a class of 200 students wasn’t an uncommon occurrence. Since then, it’s been a pleasure serving as part of various committees to encourage more girls to pursue engineering as a career option, helping organize workshops and panels for professional development as well awareness of the plight of women as a minority in engineering, and also using my design skills to help with publicity and improve the aesthetic appeal of events such as Evening with Industry. I also got to serve as historian on the board, doing what I love — documenting our chapter’s progress by taking photographs at events, making newsletters to showcase our work, and also maintaining our chapter’s blog. Not only that, SWE has been a great resource in boosting my professional development skills — from networking to making speeches, and discovering myself and what I do best. This year, I get to serve as the Evening with Industry Internal Co-Chair for the UCLA chapter and it has been an amazingly rewarding experience giving back to the chapter by running my own committee and training them with the skills that I’ve picked up myself. Being a part of SWE has been such an amazing experience for me and I can’t wait to give back to it and help other girls discover this brilliant community.swefls

Getting to attend the Collegiate Leadership Institute at the SWE WE14 Conference this year in LA was such an enriching experience for me. We got to attend talks and workshops by engaging speakers on topics like how to communicate effectively, finding our leadership brands and also social entrepreneurship. I also got to meet SWEFLs from other regions and to learn about the different ways our chapters were being run. Overall, I had a great 3 days being in the presence of plenty of inspiring women who had amazing stories to tell and I’m already looking forward to next year’s conference!

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