On Saturday, February 6, 2016, SWE-UCLA hosted Wow! That’s Engineering Day in collaboration with AECOM and the Girl Scouts of Greater Los Angeles. 86 Girl Scouts ranging from 4th through 11th grade attended, along with 40 parents and guardians and 50 SWE volunteers. The event aimed to excite the girls about science and engineering through hands-on activities, a UCLA Engineering club fair, and interaction with collegiate and professional engineers. The younger Girl Scouts (4th-6th grade) participated in three half-hour activities: hovercraft balloon vehicles, slime, and Popsicle bridges. The older girls participated in a 90-minute Engineering Challenge wherein they built a Popsicle bridge while learning about budget and time management. They were also introduced to the concept of supply chain management. After lunch Elizabeth San Miguel, President of SWE-LA, gave a keynote address. Subsequently, seven professional female engineers participated in a panel discussing their experiences as engineers. At the end of the event, five engineering design organizations shared their clubs’ projects with the Girl Scouts at the Club Fair.
SWE-UCLA looks forward to continuing to grow this event for many years to come as it provides a unique opportunity for these young girls to learn about engineering. Hopefully, over the long-term Wow! will help to increase the number of females in STEM fields.