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.
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.
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.
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!
The Girl Scout Cybersecurity Day event for – Staying Secure in a Cyber World – was a huge success on November 4th, 2017! Sixty-Four Girl Scouts from Monterey to Ventura participated in the event and learned about cybersecurity, digital forensics and internet safety. Cal Poly SLO Society of Women Engineers members volunteered to assist Girl Scouts of grades K-12 in cyber-related activities and encourage the young girls to follow their engineering and technology passions.
Girl Scouts learned about cyber through hands-on activities such as internet safety mini-games, encryption cipher decoder wheels, computer forensics with recovering deleted files, and the [d0x3d] network security board game. The event also gave Cal Poly SWE the opportunity to connect with clubs across Cal Poly by volunteering with individuals representing Cal Poly’s White Hat, Women In Business, and Child Development club.
In preparation for Cal Poly SWE’s first SWENext Leadership Training Conference, we reached out to Syronna Brown, owner of StyleKemistry.
Cal Poly was first introduced to StyleKemistry at the SWE Regional conference when Ms. Brown presented a workshop on StyleKemistry, an online resource for the “savvy, stylish girl” who is “confident, knows her unique qualities, and understands beauty inside and out.”
Following this presentation and the message of confidence and of a female support network, Cal Poly SWE believed that the SWENexters would be empowered by this company.
Cal Poly SWE called Syronna Brown and has arranged for her to come and present a workshop at the SWENext Leadership Training Conference. We are excited to have StyleKemistry represented and to have the opportunity to extend the message of developing a personal brand and taking risks to SWENexters.
As the school year draws to a close, don’t forget to log those Outreach hours! Log them on this page (http://www.surveymonkey.com/s/omtool).
You will get points for Outreach events ONLY if you fill out the form for the event. These are the points that count towards your prize at the end of the fiscal year.
Also, Region B and Society level SWE track the number of K-12 girls we reach and by filling out that survey, you are helping us reach that goal! Plus, in Region B, you have the opportunity to earn a grant for your outreach hours, for up to $1500. And, if you had an amazing event, be sure to submit it SWE for an event award here (http://societyofwomenengineers.swe.org/awards/region-section).
Outreach is an important part of SWE. In SWE’s strategic goals, outreach can fall under both Professional Excellence and Advocacy. Through outreach, we develop girls as future engineers, and we advocate for them to gain the confidence and skills they need to become engineers.
There are many different forms of outreach, and outreach can be tailored to your section’s abilities and desires. Some outreach activities require only a few members and minimal supplies, while others are massive undertakings for scores of girls. Nevertheless, Outreach is important to SWE sections, and is a wonderful way to inspire girls to pursue science and technology!
- Work with the Girl Scouts in your area – visit a troop, hold a patch workshop
- Help out a Lego League team – these teams need an “expert” to help them design their idea for the competition. offer to teach SolidWorks, or to help them program something. They also have to build and program a robot and are always looking for more adults
- Visit a classroom
- Host some high school girls and bring them to college classes
- Have a leadership in STEM event for high school girls – show them how engineers are leaders
- Volunteer to judge a science fair
Got more ideas? Share them in the comments.
Tips to Outreach:
- Divide and conquer – involve as many members as you can in both planning and executing
- Hands-on – the best way to engage girls is a hands-on activity, something they can do and understand STEM
- Allow creativity – instead of a perfectly pre-designed activity, let girls design something and test it
- Competition – if you are making something that moves or accomplishes a goal (Rocket Cars, egg drops, towers, bridges), let the girls have a friendly competition. You don’t even need prizes, just have fun!
If you do any outreach, be sure to log them in SWEeter futures. We have a region goal of reaching 25000 grls this fiscal year. The sections with the most Outreach can win grants for their section to do even more Outreach! First place is $1500, second is $1000, and third is $500.
Link not working? Url: http://www.surveymonkey.com/s/omtool
Every year, Region B make a set of goals for the year to help expand and improve our region. Here are a recap of FY14 goals and successes, and FY15 goals.
3 of the 5 FY14 goals were met: having a ten pair mentoring program, having more section reports in on time, and improving region electronic communication by creating a Region B dropbox. Unfortunately, this means 2 goals were not met: Region B reached only 11,441 K-12 students, not 25000, and Membership retention was only 63%, not the goal of 75%.
This year’s region goals:
- Continue the Mentoring Program with at least 10 pairs
- Continue SWEeter Futures and work towards reaching 25,000 K-12 students
- Submit online at SurveyMonkey: http://www.surveymonkey.com/s/omtool
- Have 95% of Section Reports in on time
- Download template/instruction here: FY15_Report Template
- Increase Region B membership by 5% (through recruitment and retention)
- Improve region communications – update the region website and create new email contact provisions
- Complete funding for the Endowed Region Scholarship
Additional Collegiate Goals:
- Retain 50% of members in collegiate sections
- Increase Collegiate to Career Memberships by 3%
- This is a membership that is $50 for the member’s entire education (including grad school) plus the first year as a professional ($100). This is a huge savings!
- Have all sections in good standing
- Have each section submit nominations for a collegiate and an individual award
During National Engineers Week this quarter, February 18-21, we hosted 4th Grade Days. 4th Grade Days is an annual event which exposes fourth graders in the San Luis Obispo area to engineering. Over 400 students participated in 19 different classrooms throughout the week. During the visit, Cal Poly student volunteers talked about different types of engineering and ran an activity in which the students designed and built a bridge with toothpicks and gumdrops. The challenge was to build the strongest bridge with as few materials as possible. The students were separated into groups of four or five and given five minutes to design their bridge on paper. Then, each group received twenty gumdrops and fifty toothpicks and began building their bridge. Once time was up, we calculated the cost of their bridges as $15,000 minus $100 for every unused toothpick and $500 for every unused gumdrop. Finally, the bridges were stacked with weights until they fell down. Through these restrictions, the students invented creative designs and gained an idea of the types of challenges engineers face.
This year, we tried to involve the elementary school teachers more by sending them a video with a short lecture for them to teach their students before our visit. Many of the educators did an excellent job introducing their students to bridges. Many of the students knew about triangles being strong shapes and the need for cross supports. Overall, 4th Grade Days was very successful and introduced many fourth graders to engineering. One student exclaimed, “I loved making the bridge that looked like it could go in Candy Land,” and another summed up the activity best when they said, “We got to use food and toothpicks to make a bridge and it allowed us to work as a team.”