Cal Poly SWE: Engineers Week – Day 1

It is one of Cal Poly SWE’s favorite weeks of the year – Engineers Week! This week is a great way to celebrate how engineers make a difference in our world. Cal Poly really brings our engineering community together by hosting many events, activities, and talks throughout the week. Our SWE members love the hands-on activities, the outreach opportunities, and the networking with other engineering organizations on our campus.

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For our first Engineers Week activity, we attended an hour long activity hosted by Cal Poly’s Society of Hispanic Professional Engineers. Their club works hard to close the ethnic gap in higher education and engineering. They have a mentorship program with the local high schools. Additionally, they do several outreach activities a year, where they do a hands-on engineering activity with local elementary students. One of the projects is known as the “Zipline Activity”. During this eWeek event, we did the zipline activity and it was very fun! We were given common items like paper cups, zip ties, straws, and duct tape and had to create a carriage that would roll down a zip line. These kind of projects are so important in getting young kids interested in engineering and recognizing that they can go to university, even if no one in their family has before.

Later that day, engineers from the Pacific Gas & Electric company came to talk about our local Diablo Canyon Power Plant. Diablo Canyon is an electricity-generating nuclear power plant that is only a fifteen minute drive from Cal Poly. It was opened in 1985 and produces about 18,000 GW-h of electricity annually. This is about 7% of all of California’s electricity usage! Nearly 2,000 members of our local community are employed at the Diablo Canyon site, and not only does PG&E pay a lot in taxes that goes towards our community, but they also donate to several organizations across the county and are very involved in work at Cal Poly. We had a really interesting time learning about the Diablo Canyon site, how nuclear power plants operate, and the effects of nuclear energy and other energy resources on the state of California.
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