Cal Poly SLO SWE: StyleKemistry SWENext Conference Workshop

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.


Outreach logging

Hello ladies!

As the school year draws to a close, don’t forget to log those Outreach hours! Log them on this page (

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 (

Hot Topic November – Outreach!

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!

Outreach Ideas

  • 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.

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Region B Goals for FY15

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:

  1. Continue the Mentoring Program with at least 10 pairs
  2. Continue SWEeter Futures and work towards reaching 25,000 K-12 students
    1. Submit online at SurveyMonkey:
  3. Have 95% of Section Reports in on time
    1. Download template/instruction here: FY15_Report Template
  4. Increase Region B membership by 5% (through recruitment and retention)
  5. Improve region communications – update the region website and create new email contact provisions
  6. Complete funding for the Endowed Region Scholarship

Additional Collegiate Goals:

  1. Retain 50% of members in collegiate sections
  2. Increase Collegiate to Career Memberships by 3%
    1. 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!
  3. Have all sections in good standing
  4. Have each section submit nominations for a collegiate and an individual award


4th Grade Days (E-Week 2014)

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.”

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FIRST LEGO League – Nov. 17th, 2013

Every year since 2010, the UC Irvine Chapter of the Society of Women Engineers coordinates an outreach event called FIRST LEGO LEague (FLL). It is an international LEGO robotics competition for children of ages 9-14. The competition centers around a different theme each year and teams compete in three main categories: Robot Game, Project, and Core Values. This year’s theme was Nature’s Fury, where teams had to create a solution to a current disaster problem, build a robot that can maneuver through disaster themed tasks, and maintain honest teamwork and professionalism..

SWE works together with a local after-school robotics programmed called Mathobotix. The partnership first started out as an idea from one of the interns at Mathobotix (who also doubled as a SWE – UCI officer) who wanted to use FLL as an outreach event for SWE – UCI.

The exciting tournament has now become our main Fall Outreach event in which we recruit volunteers to run the event. We also invite student engineering project groups to showcase their current works such as “Design. Build. Fly” and “Video Game Developer’s Club.” And lastly, we inspire our engineering community to give back to the younger generation. 2013_7 2013_5 2013_3 2013_8 2013_2 2013_6

Support GoldieBlox!

For those that aren’t familiar, GoldieBlox is an awesome step towards the future of female engineers. There are no engineering based toys for young girls that lead to problem solving and spatial awareness. This revolutionary game is striving to correct that.

The link at the bottom will take you to a competition where we can vote for a small business to have their product featured on Super Bowl Sunday for free!! Click and vote for this awesome product to gain more awareness and support!