For Spring Girl Scout Day, Junior Girl Scouts came to Cal Poly to do four engineering labs. The labs were a series of building challenges using cups, popsicle sticks, and wooden cubes; popsicle stick bombs, neutrally buoyant blimp and mini zip-line car racers were built. Each lab taught the girls one science concept and one engineering concept to help them solve the problem for that lab. The engineering concepts included: recognizing there are multiple solutions to a single problem, teamwork, the engineering design process (design, build, test, and redesign cycle), and the importance of creativity in engineering design. The science concepts which we taught the girls include balance and amp, counter-balance, stored energy, buoyancy, and friction. The girls, parents, troop leaders, and Cal Poly volunteers all had a great time. One of the troop leaders commented, “I really enjoyed seeing female engineering students engaging with young girls.” We are looking forward to another successful Girl Scout event in the fall.
On Friday, May 6th, SWE CPP hosted its annual Youth Engineering Success (YES) Program, an outreach event that introduces engineering to high school students. The goal of this event is to inspire young students to pursue an education in the STEM field. This year, we had the pleasure of having about 150 students from the Pomona district to participate in our event. The students received a general campus tour of Cal Poly and a virtual lab tour hosted by one of our Outreach Chairs. They also participated in the Seismic Shake Up and Rubber Band Powered Car activity.
Hi I’m Marina – the outgoing president from SWE-UCLA. I think I speak for all graduating seniors here when I say SWE has been a pivotal part of our college experience. Graduation is a bittersweet time and, while we’re excited to move on and become professional SWE members, we will miss our community at our collegiate SWE sections.
The seniors at SWE-UCLA decided to celebrate our SWE experience by taking graduation photos together. We chose to do it on the same day as our annual banquet since we knew we’d all be free and had to be dressed up anyway. We found a reasonably priced photographer on our school’s free-and-for-sale Facebook page, got dressed up, and headed to campus for pictures. We took some photos in the engineering building and even featured the SWE Bee in a few of our pictures. Our section always gives its seniors chords in SWE colors for them to wear during graduation, so we also wore these chords for our photos. The photo shoot was a lot of fun, and we’re really happy with how the pictures turned out. This was the perfect way to commemorate our time in SWE, and we hope it becomes a tradition!
Congratulations to everyone graduating this year!
To celebrate SWE-UCLA’s 44th year, the section hosted its annual banquet to celebrate our achievements during the school year, present scholarships to recipients, and to thank the old board and welcome the new board. All board members attended with a guest, and the scholarship recipients were encouraged to bring a guest as well. The event was held at our Faculty Center and started with appetizers and casual conversation, as attendees talked to one another and to the company representatives that also attended. Afterwards was a three-course dinner, throughout which the old and new presidents thanked our sponsors, gave out scholarships, and gave gifts to the seniors and the old board. This is always a bittersweet event, but one of our favorites each year. SWE-UCLA looks forward to even more great events next year!
Four SWE-UCLA members attended SWE-LA’s annual Professional Development Conference (PDC) on April 22nd at the DoubleTree Hotel in Torrance. As collegiate members, we really enjoyed the conference and getting a taste of what being a professional SWE member is like. The event included four main speakers who shared their experiences and knowledge. All of the talks were very helpful and provided advice on how to develop our personal brand, market our competitive edge, improve our persuasion skills, and unleash our inner leader. We particularly enjoyed Erin McConahey’s workshop on unconscious bias. We hope to do a similar activity with our members at UCLA utilizing SWE’s Diversity & Inclusion Knowledge Card Deck. PDC also included lots of time for networking with the professional members in attendance during breaks and over a delicious lunch. We can’t wait to be involved more with professional sections post graduation!
On Thursday April 21st, SWE UCLA organized a fundraiser at a local restaurant through GroupRaise. We headed over to Native Foods Café in Westwood together after our bi-weekly board meeting at 7pm to enjoy a yummy meal together while raising funds to support our club’s events. For two hours, SWEeties mingled over tasty vegan dishes from Chicken and Bacon Avocado Wraps to Portobello Burgers and Seitan Chili, paired with their specialty drinks like Lavender Lemonade and Watermelon Fresca. Some of us even got dessert to go and take-out for our friends and roommates to tide them over during the midterm season. It was a fun social and everyone really enjoyed themselves supporting SWE!
This past Bruin Day Weekend (April 15th – 17th), SWE-UCLA and ACM-W hosted its 2nd annual “Women in Engineering Stayover Program” (WESP) where over 45 female engineering admits spent the night at UCLA with a host in their major. The event was kicked off by SWE’s “Women in Engineering” panel, which featured a panel of female student leaders such as our very own president, Marina Dannecker.
Although WESP was limited to only one night, SWE’s Outreach committee planned a night of fun and games to allow the girls to have a chance to meet future classmates in engineering and get a taste of life on the “Hill” (the primary location for student dorms and dining halls). The night began with a delicious dinner at Bruin Plate, UCLA’s famous healthy-themed dining hall (check out Bruin Plate’s reviews on Yelp here: http://www.yelp.com/biz/bruin-plate-los-angeles). The admits were also joined by Intro to Computer Science professor David Smallberg, who helped answer questions from our computer science admits. After dinner, admits and hosts participated in several ice breaker games. Mafia was a popular game of the night, as well as a hysterical game of “Telephone Charades”, which led to very interesting interpretations of words like “Narwhal” and “Harry Potter”. As the night came to a close, the admits departed with their respective hosts. The next day was Engineering Open House, so both hosts and admits had to wake up bright and early for breakfast and the Open House check-in at 9AM.
Overall, WESP was a huge success. In WESP’s inaugural year, we were only able to host around 20 admits. By the second year, we were able to double that number. We are also happy to announce that 76% of WESP participants submitted SIRs to UCLA, a huge increase from the previous year, and this new influx of female engineers significantly increased the overall women SIR numbers. We can’t wait to see how these students will be able to contribute to SWE and UCLA in the future!