Cal Poly Pomona shares the program they found most exciting last year, the External Outreach K-12 Program. The program was first held at Traweek Middle School (West Covina, CA) in November, 2007. During the hour and a half long program, Cal Poly SWE members worked with fifty (50) students in sixth through eigth grade (ages 10-13).
Here’s what Section President Theresa Claveria had to say about the program:
The ultimate goal of the External Outreach K-12 Program is to encourage young students to prepare for, choose, and succeed in an engineering career. As middle school students transition to highschool, they may not take advantage of the correct courses needed to prepare for a career in engineering. In addition, they are rarely exposed to activities that require the use of tools, taking things apart and putting them back together, and possibly not encouraged to experiment and explore. Also, young women tend to lack sufficient knowledge about engineering, disciplines within the field, as well as employment opportunities.
Participation in the K-12 Program provided SWE student chapter members as well as non-SWE volunteers with community service, experiences, leadership, and management skills. Volunteers that participated in the event also encouraged the students to explore a career in engineering as they assisted them with the Agilent AfterSchool Kits. Participants assisted students with kits that emphasized topics and concepts aligned with their own engineering discipline. Because of this, students experienced a highly personalized and thoughtful session from participants.
We feel that not only did we accomplish these goals, but we also met the purpose of our event. We also felt that we met our objective, which was to inform students and counselors of the qualifications and achievements of women engineers and the opportunities open to them.
Want to hold a similar event with your section? Contact Theresa at swecpp dot president at gmail dot com.