On Octboer 5, 2016, CSUN SWE members Helen Mills, Ryan McCalman and Veronica Rico represented the club at Granada Hill Charter High school. Our chapter was invited by students in the STEM club, wanting to hear from a local univeristy (which happened to be located right next door!) They had asked us to share what CSUN has to offer in their engineering programs, including degree options, club opportunitites, and research projects. The representing members were at a variety of levels, sophormore, junior and senior, and were all able to share their experiences not only at CSUN, but local community colleges. The high school students reached out for the event, but CSUN SWEhas now developed a lasting relationship with the faculty, and look forward to being at the school again next year!
On March 3, 2017, CSUN’s ASME chapter hosted their annual “Evening with Engineers” event. This was CSUN SWE’s second year co-hosting the event, helping with planning, preparation and execution of the event. The intent of the event is to invite local professionals, from a variety of different engineering fields, to teach engineering students about future fields they could work in. The first portion of the event consisted of a mixer, where students could talk one on one with professionals, and were encouraged to focus on finding mentorship, rather than a job. The event was no so much a recruiting event as it was a networking event. The second portion of the event consisted of a Q&A panel, where a set of professionals, all from varying fields, were asked questions from a prompt, but also by students. They were asked everything from what their favorite part of their job was, to their best piece of advice. Students were very engaged and excited to hear about different fields offered outside of the CSUN engineering curriculum, and be able to ask questions in an informal setting.
SWE chapter members were involved with the event planning, both prior to and the day of the event. CSUN SWE was responsible for purchasing the food for the event, gathering the amount of food to purchase from student survey responses. Both professionals and students were required to register for the event prior. Members also helped to recruit professionals for the event through LinkedIn and other resources. The day of the event, the SWE members were responsible for check in, event management, and clean-up. Overall, the club was excited to have a more involved role in the execution of the event, and see more members than the previous years attend.
On February 23, 2017, CSUN’s SWE chapter participated in the CSUN Chemistry Club’s STEM mixer. STEM clubs throughout CSUN, including the Society of Hispanic Professional Engineers, Women in Science and Engineering and the Biology Club came out for a social mixer to learn more about STEM opportunities on campus. SWE members came out and tabled at the event, socialized with other club members, and invited some new ones. Overall the club was happy to go out and be involved with the collegiate STEM community. The event was organized by a committee on campus, to which CSUN SWE was invited. We were responsible for bringing food for the event, as well as setting up and managing our own table. It was a great learning opportunity on how to reach out to other STEM clubs on campus, and plan a larger campus event, as our chapter was still fairly small and still learning at the time.
The CSUN SWE chapter was determined to send some of its members to the WE Conference, and knew every penny would count. Club members got to school at 6am and started brewing coffee, while others picked up boxes of doughnuts. At a dollar each, the club was excited not only raise some funds, but also get new students into the club room on campus. They were greeted by our members, telling them about who we are and what we had planned for the year. The planning consisted only of delegating who would pick up the food, and promoting the event the week before. While we didn’t make as much as we had hoped, we got a few new members out of it, and more than doubled the traffic in our club room. We learned a lot for future fundraisers as well!
At the beginning of every spring quarter, Cal Poly hosts an annual open house to show off the campus and life as a Mustang. This year, Cal Poly SWE contributed to the event by participating in Club Preview Night at the Downtown San Luis Obispo Farmer’s Market on April 12th, Campus Showcase on April 14th, and the Computer and Electrical Open House Showcase on April 14th.
At Club Preview Night, Cal Poly SWE had multiple SWE members representing the club at a booth downtown. Members interacted with the community and potential Cal Poly students, showcasing SWE and what it’s all about.
At Campus Showcase, Cal Poly SWE once again represented with a booth among all the other clubs participating. Cal Poly SWE members volunteered to interact with those in attendance to explain what SWE is and talk to potential students and supporters about Cal Poly, Cal Poly Engineering, and Cal Poly SWE.
At the Computer and Electrical Open House Showcase, Cal Poly SWE led a robotics activity called Build-a-Bots where participants were able to build their own robot to take home. Over 100 robots were built by attendees with Cal Poly SWE members assistance.
This spring, Cal Poly SWE hosted the sister event to fall Building an Engineer Day on May 13th. The Cal Poly SWE Middle School Outreach Chair orchestrated the event with help from her subcommittee. Together, they contacted and coordinated middle school educators and students, Cal Poly engineering clubs, and college volunteers. The students were placed in groups of eight to ten students, and guided to their lab activities by a Cal Poly Engineering student. The clubs created activities based around their interests; for example, the Bioresource and Agricultural Engineering club had students calculate horsepower based on how fast they could, as a team, pull a set amount of weight. At lunch, students grabbed pizza and played games in the Engineering Plaza to spout off some pent-up energy. As lab activities concluded, students returned to the Advanced Technologies Laboratory auditorium to meet their parents and talk about their day full of engineering.
On May 5th, middle and high school girls from Atascadero and San Luis Obispo came to Cal Poly to learn about engineering. They had all expressed interest in STEM previously and their teacher coordinated the visit to continue to engage them in the field. Cal Poly volunteers showed the students a variety of labs on campus. The Robotics Club let the students play against a computer program-controlled foosball robot opponent and the Innovation Sandbox explained how 3-D printing works as the maker bots whirred in the background. After the brief lab tour, Cal Poly SWE’s High School Outreach Chair gave a presentation about the statistics regarding women in STEM. There was a panel discussion with Cal Poly student and faculty, as well as industry representatives. Students were curious about the college experience in general, with interest in a smattering of subjects from forensic science to astronomy. This was the first event Cal Poly had coordinated with this group; we look forward to expanding this community outreach to parents and educators!