CSULB SWE goes to WE17!

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Eight CSULB SWE members flew from LAX to Austin-Bregstrom International Airport to attend this year’s WE17 Conference. It was the first SWE conference for many of our attendees. Some members arrived as early as Wednesday and others arrived Thursday and even Friday morning. Our section rented an apartment in the heart of downtown Austin which was approximately a three-minute walk to the convention center.

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For most of us, the main event was WE17’s Career Fair. We had fun and learned a lot (and collectively obtained several bagfuls of company freebies!). Many of our members were selected for multiple interviews and several received internship and full-time job offers.  From attending the workshops to the corporate hospitality suites, our members are very grateful for the successful networking opportunity!

On that Saturday, we volunteered for SWE’s outreach event, Invent It. Build It. There we were the “Role Models” for both high school and middle school attendees. We would demonstrate our field of study with videos, games, or models to better explain what we do as engineers. It was a fun filled day with a lot of laughter and learning. We hope we inspired the girls to pursue engineering in the future.

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We also enjoyed exploring Austin! Between the eight of us, we visited the Graffiti Park at Castle Hill, attended a parade, toured the capitol, shopped around Sixth Street, and ate tons of Texan barbeque.

WE17 was an incredible learning and bonding experience for organization. We can’t wait to make it to WE18 in Minneapolis, Minnesota next year!

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Women Engineers @ The Beach Day!

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SWE CSULB hosted our annual Women Engineers @ The Beach Day (WE@BD) on Friday, October 20! This year, about two hundred high-school students arrived on campus for a day packed full of STEM activities. Our keynote speaker was Ms. Chandni Mehta, an Engineer II from Southern California Edison. Ms. Medta’s inspirational speech described her journey from India to the United States to further her education in engineering and she encouraged the students to take career risks. Ms. Mehta is pictured below with our chapter President and our Outreach Chair.

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After the introductory speeches, the high school students were separated into groups and attended two out of the eight different workshops hosted by various CSULB Engineering faculty. Dr. Yu Yang from the Chemical Engineering department taught the students to build batteries from various fruits, wires, a nail, and a penny. Students then used the battery to power an LED light, which demonstrated the conversion from chemical energy to electrical energy. Dr. Alvaro Monge from the Computer Science department taught students to program an animation. Dr. Yan Li from Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering demonstrated how the use of polymers allowed students to pierce a balloon with a wooden skewer without popping it.

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After the workshops, SWE CSULB hosted lunch. During lunch, the students were welcome to visit the various booths hosted by other CSULB engineering organizations. Each organization presented different STEM-related activities that were both entertaining and informative. ACM taught the students to make binary search trees from marshmallows and toothpicks, IEEE made homopolar motors with wire and batteries, and SWE hosted a catapult-making booth. Long Beach Maker Society’s ice cream activity was one of the most popular. Students shook bags of rock salt, milk, ice, and flavored syrup to make their own ice cream and demonstrate colligative properties and freezing point depression. NSBE, AIAA, and HKN were also present.

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It was another WE@BD for the books! Special thanks to our officers, volunteers, workshop leaders, and the engineering organizations for helping us put on another successful outreach event. We look forward to hosting Engineering Girls @ The Beach Day, our outreach event for middle school students, in the Spring!